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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.