Mother Nature and cattle may help tame the West Coast Wildfires

As producers in the south brace for the storm, producers in the west are battling another disaster. So far, wildfires have burned 5 million acres in California, Washington and Oregon.

In California alone, one complex fire has burned more than 1 million acres. The milestone has sparked a new term called the “giga fire.” It is a level above “mega fire,” which burns more than 100,000 acres.

Experts say that this is the most active year ever recorded for the West Coast.

Mother Nature could give them a helping hand. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey breaks down a change in the forecast that will help emergency crews put the fires out.

According to Rippey, “As we move into October there is a little bit of a glimmer of hope on the horizon, there are some early indications that we’re going to experience a pattern change, and initially we expect to see some cooler weather accompanied by light rain showers moving across about the northern half of California... Those rain showers will not be particularly heavy at first, but at least it will be a start towards tamping down the wildfire threat, and it will certainly benefit firefighters with their containment efforts...”

Researchers are also tracking how much cattle grazing could help reduce fires on rangeland.

They found if these firefighting cattle eat certain grasses in the spring, there will be less dead, dry grass to fuel the fires in the fall. In some cases, grazing in a circle made a sort of fence, keeping fires contained to a smaller, more manageable area.