Deadly wildfires in Portugal killed 106 people in 2017 so government officials are focusing on prevention. One part of the solution: hiring dozens of goat herds to munch away at the dry vegetation that helps wildfires to flourish.⠀
But even as Portugal rushes to get goat-ready, experts warn it will likely take years to correct the trends that make the country especially vulnerable.⠀
In recent decades, people have deserted the countryside in droves to pursue a better life in bigger towns and cities. That has left care of the forests in the hands of mostly elderly people who often lack financial resources.⠀
While it is the first time Portugal has deployed the animals to help prevent wildfires, they have been used for decades in the US as an environmentally friendly way to limit the impact of fire.