Grass fires keep firefighters busy in Sacramento, Wilton, Orangevale

Published: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 - 6:51 am

Firefighters were busy Sunday with frequent grass fires, including calls in Orangevale, Wilton and Sacramento.

Details on the fires were not immediately available.

But one fire official said a fire near North B Street north of downtown Sacramento was near a homeless encampment and that responding to numerous grass fires is not uncommon in summer.

At the Sacramento Fire Department, Assistant Chief Niko King said the department in the coming days will be preparing for the traditional stream of fireworks-related calls for Independence Day celebrations.

He urged parents not to let their children light fireworks and to ensure that the materials are properly discarded after use.

King suggested drenching used fireworks in a bucket of water and discarding the remnants the next day.

Those who toss them hot into a waste can may be asking for trouble, since these are often stored under a home's eaves, next to a fence or near dry grasses.

In 2005, an Orangevale family narrowly escaped injury following their July Fourth celebration after they had gone to bed. Their improperly discarded fireworks melted through a rubber trash can and ignited the home, causing about $120,000 in structural and property damage.

Two passers-by saw the fire about 12:30 a.m. One dialed 911, and the other pounded on the home's locked screen door for about five minutes, finally waking the occupants, who escaped just after the fire invaded the attic.

King said because of budget cuts, the department usually has three companies a day that are not operating.

But he said the department will bring those companies on duty on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding a dozen firefighters to respond to calls.

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Read more articles by Loretta Kalb

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