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Fast-spreading grass fire contained in north Sacramento County

A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District helicopter dumps water Saturday over a large grass fire that burned up to 250 acres near West Elkhorn Boulevard and East Levee Road. Several power poles and drop lines to homes were burned or damaged.
A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District helicopter dumps water Saturday over a large grass fire that burned up to 250 acres near West Elkhorn Boulevard and East Levee Road. Several power poles and drop lines to homes were burned or damaged. lsterling@sacbee.com

Sacramento-area fire agencies contained a fast-moving grass fire north of the Natomas area late Saturday afternoon. The fire prompted voluntary evacuations of homes on East Levee Road, north of West Elkhorn Boulevard, fire officials said.

Despite high winds, the area’s natural barriers prevented the fire from spreading.

“It has a good box around it,” said Walt White, Sacramento Fire Department chief. Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, who represents the North Natomas area and was at the scene, said the nearby Natomas Basin Conservancy served as a “green belt” and help prevent the fire from growing. A nearby drainage canal also helped contain the flames, White said.

Crews were called out at 3:33 p.m. Between 75 and 100 firefighters, along with helicopters and bulldozers, worked to contain the fire, which spread north and northeast toward the Placer County line, White said. One barn was burned, and several other structures were threatened. The fire also damaged several power poles and residential drop lines, White said. Crews contained the fire in about two hours. Ultimately, it burned between 240 and 250 acres.

Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the fire.

Julia Calagiovanni: 916-321-1136, @juliacala. Bee staff writer Ed Fletcher contributed to this report.

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