Category Archives: Fire

Proposed fire cuts could cut out rescue teams

Sacramento Fire Department’s special operations could be cut out of the 2012-2013 fiscal city budget; affecting several programs whose focus is rescue and public protection.

The water boat rescue program; heavy and confined space rescue; high angle and low angle; and trench rescue teams would be completely eliminated from the department. Three out of four hazmat teams would also disappear.

The SFD’s union said fire fighters respond to almost 80,000 calls each year. Only 500 of those calls are for hazmat, but fire fighters said those are the critical calls.

“You’re talking about vapor releases and liquid toxins that can kill on impact,” said Todd Filburn of Fire Fighters Local 522.

On the American River, families were enjoying the shallow end of the water, but were cautious of the swift and cold currents.

“You have to do your part to be safe, because the time rescuers can get to you, it’s too late,” said father Barry Cookson, who was tying inner tubes together and anchoring the line to a cement brick.

“That way the kids just float in a circle and you don’t lose anyone, because you will lose someone in the river.”

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Grass Fires Break Out In Sacramento Overnight


Despite the cooler temperatures overnight a couple of grass fires broke out overnight in Sacramento keeping fire fighters busy.

One fire started around 2:00 Monday morning near the levy at the end of 10th Street near the American River.

The blaze burned nearly half an acre before crews got it under control.

Officials say the fire was likely started in a homeless camp.

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Arrest made in killing of burned woman at Discovery Park

An arrest has been made in the killing of a woman whose burned body was found Tuesday in Discovery Park.

Sacramento police said today they have arrested Robert Thompson, 36, on suspicion of homicide in the killing of the still-unidentified female.

It will take several days to make a positive identification of the severely burned body that was found by a passing bicyclist. Police say the body was burned beyond recognition.

Race and age are not known, police said. While the cause of death has yet to be determined, the woman suffered upper body trauma, according to a press release from the police department.

Police said that since the woman has not been identified, they cannot yet release the relationship between the victim and Thompson.

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Officials ask for help in identifying parkway arsonist

Fire officials are asking the public to help identify the person responsible for a series of arson fires along the American River Parkway in recent days.

A total of 15 fires were deliberately set — nine on Sept. 10 and six on Wednesday, said Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

The arson occurred near River Bend Park, in an area of heavy vegetation that could fuel a major fire, Cockrum said.

“In this area there are no homes, but there is dense brush, with trees, shrubs and a lot of dead stuff,” he said.

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American River Parkway arsons, no suspect yet

Arson investigators said the grass fires along the American River Saturday morning were set intentionally.

“Having somebody coming through here and start these fires is really concerning that this was an intentional act to have a huge fire run through the American River Parkway,” Sacramento Metro Fire Assist. Chief Scott Cockrum said.

Sacramento Metro Fire crews fought seven to nine grass fires along the American River around 6 a.m. Saturday, Cockrum said.

The grass fires were spotted from River Bend Park to Hagan Park and burned 19 acres of land.

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Prescribed burn below Foresthill Bridge rescheduled for Friday

Weather and human resources permitting, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will conduct a prescribed burn under the Foresthill Bridge in Placer County on Friday.

The controlled fire, designed to reduce vegetation that could fuel wildfires, has been postponed twice in recent weeks, first due to unfavorable weather and then because a wildland fire tied up firefighters and equipment needed for the project.

The prescribed burn is to be conducted on 55 acres under the bridge along the middle fork of the American River, approximately one mile northeast of Auburn.

The primary purpose is to reduce hazardous fuel below the Foresthill Bridge, allowing Placer County to safely perform seismic retrofit activities on the bridge, according to a Cal Fire news release.

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Prescribed burn below Foresthill Bridge canceled due to weekend fire activity

A prescribed burn scheduled for today under the Foresthill Bridge in Placer County was canceled because of wildland fires over the weekend.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for the second time canceled the controlled burn planned for 55 acres on either side of the middle fork of the American River, about one mile east of Auburn. The burn, designed to reduce hazardous fuel below the bridge, was canceled June 28 because of unfavorable weather conditions. Today’s project was canceled because Cal Fire resources were not available.

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Planned Fifty-five acre controlled burn in Foresthill next week

On Tuesday, June 28th, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit in cooperation with the US Bureau of Reclamation, California State Parks, Placer County, and the CAL FIRE Vegetation Management Program will conduct a 55 acre prescribed burn under the Foresthill Bridge in Placer County. The burn will occur directly under the bridge in the Middle Fork American River Canyon, approximately one mile northeast of Auburn.

CAL FIRE is conducting this prescribed burn as part of an ongoing fuel reduction project to minimize potential wildfire risk. The primary purpose is to reduce hazardous fuel below the Foresthill Bridge, allowing Placer County to safely perform ongoing seismic retrofit activities. The project serves several other functions as well: reducing the potential for fires caused by fireworks each year around the 4th of July, allowing firefighters to experience wildland firefighting tactics in a controlled environment, and providing a fuel break that can be used in the future to stop or slow a major fire.

The burn will start at 10:00 a.m. and continue into the evening hours. It will consist of two burn units, one on the east side of the river and one on the west side. Smoke will be visible from Interstate 80, Highway 49, Auburn, Foresthill, and surrounding communities.

Resources including fire engines, hand crews, bull dozers, and a helicopter will work to keep the fire within existing containment lines. Firefighters working in firing teams will work to control the fire intensity and ensure the fire progresses in a safe manner. CAL FIRE resources will continue to check the area for several days.