SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It is the Sacramento City Fire Department’s first burning brush battle along the Sacramento River this season.

“We had a lot of growth this year, not a lot of fires last year,” said the fire department chief.

There’s plenty to burn and a small fire along the river is certainly a cause for concern, not because of its size but its spot.

“I looked out, we had flames so we called 911,” said Genie Hansen.

Firefighters feared flames and flying ash along the Sacramento River could hop the levee, and it already crept its way up a dry oak tree.

Yeah, it’s pretty breezy, especially along the river,” said the chief. “It goes right along the riverbanks.”

The wind whipped and the dry fuel for a fire turned out to be a pain at the pump.

Fire engines carry about 500 gallons of water and had to go back and forth to fill up at hydrants. So they decided it was time to be a bit more efficient.

They called in a boat for back up and were able to use unlimited Sacramento River water to push out 125 gallons a minute.

“The winds starting to pick up a little bit, so we wanted to put it out a little quicker,” said the chief.

The dousing on a windy day is a relief from the river for people living right next to the flames.


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