Reagan Presidential Library Saved from Wildfire by Unlikely Heroes

Rachel S

SCENE: CALIFORNIA FIRE RESCUE HQ

A dark, industrial room with concrete walls and beams stretching across the ceiling. The only light comes from a dim, flickering fluorescent light hanging from exposed wires and the flashing computers lining the walls. Sitting at the computers are ten or so people in nondescript white dress shirts, each with at least two empty cups of cheap to-go coffee littered in front of them. We focus in on one monitor, in front of RADAR TECHNICIAN, with a big X in the bottom right corner labeled “Reagan Presidential Library.” A red and yellow mass takes up most of the top left of the screen; with each blip of the image, it moves closer to the X. 

RADAR TECH: Boss, I think you should see this.

A man with a tie and a clipboard looks up and walks over to RADAR TECH, standing at her shoulder.

BOSS: That’s not good.

RADAR TECH: What should we do about it?

BOSS: There’s only one thing we can do.

RADAR TECH: You don’t mean–

BOSS: I do mean. 

He snatches a red phone from the wall next to RADAR TECH and holds it to his face.

BOSS: Send them in.

SCENE cuts to a pristine meadow and rolling green hills. It could be a Microsoft default desktop image, if not for the black smoke billowing and curling over the horizon. Suddenly, a rumbling. The ground shakes. From the left, goats begin to appear– one, two, twenty, a hundred, as many as 500 goats flood over the plains. Their tails flick and their weird rectangular pupils rove over the landscape. Their day has come. The time is now. They begin to munch.

Back at HQ, a collective sigh of relief. 

Okay, I might have slightly dramaticized events. But even though I can’t prove that it happened this way, you can’t prove that it didn’t, and the fact remains that a herd of goats saved the Reagan Presidential Library from certain ruin. 

CNN reports that a “herd of as many as 500 goats” was given the run of a hillside, conveniently located between the fire and the Library, earlier this year. The goats ate all of the available vegetation in their grazing zone, creating a natural firebreak, and depriving the fast-moving Simi Valley wildfire of fuel.

The Library, with the help of the Ventura county fire department, hired the goats from a company called 805 Goats, the Guardian reports. The animals munched through around 15 acres, creating a perimeter to protect the Library from wildfires.

Of course, the goats did not act alone, offering their hungry bellies to more than 700 (human) firefighters already working to contain the blaze. Daily Wire reports that “It is not known whether the goats who created the fire line emerged from the fire unscathed,” but we do know that whatever sacrifices they may have made were not in vain. 

“One of the firefighters mentioned that they do believe the goats’ fire line helped them fight this fire,” [Melissa Giller, Reagan Presidential Library spokeswoman] added. “They just proved today how useful they really are.”

Bless those brave, hungry goats. Bless those heroes. 

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