Spate of Area Grassfires Keep Firefighters Busy

Image of dark plume of smoke rising from

View of 20-acre fire from Commerce Circle, shortly after it started. / Photo by Marc Laver

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Image of map showing proximity of two grassfires.

It’s unknown whether a smaller grassfire in the American River Parkway was a spot fire from the larger blaze off Highway 160 and Northgate Boulevard. / Source: PulsePoint

A two-alarm vegetation fire that burned about 20 acres south of Natomas Tuesday afternoon is being investigated.

Several area grassfires kept firefighters busy yesterday, July 7, from the early morning hours throughout the day and into the evening.

The Sacramento Fire Dept. received a report of a grassfire near Highway 160 and Northgate Boulevard at about 12:48 p.m.

“Nothing but vegetation burned,” said Capt. Keith Wade, public information officer for the Sacramento Fire Dept. “Luckily, it was not a real windy day.”

The fire was contained in about 90 minutes, but took several hours to completely extinguish, Wade said.

Smoke from the blaze was visible from in north Natomas from Interstate 5, in midtown Sacramento and drifted over the American River into Rancho Cordova.

Approximately 50 firefighters battled the blaze, Wade said. Firefighters with specialized training lit backfires, bulldozers cut fire lines and the Sacramento Metro Fire Dept. aided with airdrops.

“There were some good, natural fire breaks with the roads,” Wade said.

Power lines and a nearby train trestle were not damaged during the fire. However, a Union Pacific representative was on the scene and train operations were halted during the fire.

Regional Parks Rangers were called to the scene and assisted with evacuating the homeless, said Sacramento County public information officer Ken Casparis.

According to Wade, there were four different homeless camps in the vicinity of the fire. No injuries were reported, he said.

“All homeless were moved out of the area,” Wade said. At one point, firefighters requested park rangers assist with the evacuation, according to scanner traffic.

An investigator was called in to try to determine the cause of the fire.

Wade said it was not known whether or not a smaller grassfire on the American River Parkway at about 1:30 p.m. was a spot fire from the larger incident.

That fire, and one reported at 3:49 p.m. in the American River Parkway, east of Discovery Park, were small enough to be handled by single engines, Wade said.

At about 4:29 p.m. firefighters responded to another grassfire near the eastbound I-80 ramp at Northgate Boulevard which burned about 1,000 square feet.

“The fire was quickly contained,” Wade said.

At about 7:42 p.m. firefighters responded to another vegetation fire near the Arden-Garden Connector and Northgate Boulevard.

Much earlier in the day, at about 3:47 a.m. firefighters responded to a vegetation fire call on the 400 block of Del Paso Boulevard, near Camp Pollock.

Image of freeway in foreground and plume of smoke in distance.

Smoke from the 20-acre grassfire was visible from Interstate 5.


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