COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho -

Coeur d'Alene officials are employing a new fire-protection strategy - goats.
    
Two hundred hungry goats were released Friday over 22 acres of Tubbs Hill, the popular park that overlooks Lake Coeur d'Alene.
    
They chewed through shrubbery and mowed down other fuels that could help a fire spread.
    
Coeur d'Alene Fire Department Deputy Chief Glenn Lauper says it takes fire officials 20 minutes to reach a fire on Tubbs Hill's south side. If a fire is starved of fuels, it may not spread so quickly.
    
Urban forestry coordinator Katie Kosanke tells the Coeur d'Alene Press a federal grant is paying for the project.
    
She says the goats cost $500 an acre compared to up to $1,500 for a mechanical hand crew, so city officials thought, "Why not give it a try?"