Crime - Sacto 911

Illegal aerial fireworks spark Elk Grove blaze, force evacuation of school, authorities say

Helicopter combats fire caused by illegal fireworks, authorities say

A grassfire on Thursday, June 21, 2018, was caused by illegal fireworks, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department officials said.
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A grassfire on Thursday, June 21, 2018, was caused by illegal fireworks, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department officials said.

A fire that burned 15 acres of grassland at the end of a residential road in Elk Grove was caused by illegal fireworks, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said.

The fire was reported at 2:47 p.m. Thursday on Bradshaw Road near Calvine Road, and 50 firefighters responded, using a bulldozer and helicopter to control the fire. Firefighters from the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department also responded.

The cause was an aerial firework that "shoots flaming balls," according to discarded packaging found near the origin of the fire, said Capt. Chris Vestal, Sac Metro spokesman.

Smoke from the fire set off alarms at nearby Bradshaw Christian School and prompted the school to evacuate.

Another fire started about three miles away near Florin and Excelsior roads, and crews quickly suppressed it, the district said.

It took firefighters over an hour to control the fire, and several more hours to extinguish it, Vestal said.

Fire personnel visited the burn site throughout the night to make sure hot spots didn't threaten nearby homes.

Only fireworks that have a "safe and sane" seal on the packaging are legal in Sacramento County between June 28 and July 5, the district said.

Illegal fireworks include aerial fireworks, bottle rockets and Roman candles.

This blaze is the first confirmed fire caused by illegal fireworks in 2018, Vestal said.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM

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