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Small Rancho Murieta fire may have been caused by mowing dry grass, officials say

Amid warnings of high fire risk across Northern California, officials say a fire quickly contained Saturday in Rancho Murieta may have been sparked by a lawn mower over dry grass.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District personnel started fighting the blaze before 9:45 a.m. near the Van Vleck Airfield south of Rancho Murieta, according to a tweet. The fire was approximately 2 acres with no structures threatened.

The fire may have started from mowing dry grass, Metro Fire officials tweeted, and had the potential to spread to 500 acres due to today’s Red Flag Warning conditions. Their recommendation is to postpone mowing dry grass for 36 hours.

The Red Flag Warning issued on Friday for 6 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday this weekend has caused PG&E to start power blackouts in parts of Yolo, Solano and Napa counties early Saturday.

Cal Fire air tankers were called in for support for the grass fire due to strong winds this morning and the terrain being too wet for heavy equipment, Metro Fire said in a tweet.

At 10:08 a.m., Metro Fire announced that the fire was contained. It took six engines, three water tenders, and one dozer to contain the blaze, the tweet said.

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Jaimie Ding, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee with an interest in politics and international relations. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington.
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