SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – Grass fires sparked by Mylar balloons crashing into power lines kept Cosumnes Fire Department crews busy Sunday afternoon.

The fires were off of Twin Cities Road, near Christensen Road, north of Galt. Crews moved quickly to protect homes off of Spring Street that were in the path of the flames.

“It was hard to breathe because it was a wall of smoke,” said Stephanie Helmrich, who lives across from the field that erupted in flames. “I grabbed my cats, threw them in the car and left for a little bit.”

No one was forced to be evacuated, but firefighters did fear for a time that the flames would jump over and damage homes. It didn’t, but flames did take down some mailboxes — a little too close for comfort for nearby residents.

“I’ve never had to experience this before. So, yes, [it was] very scary,” Helmrich said.

Temperatures hit above 100 degrees, the type of heat firefighters said they didn’t expect until a little later in the year.

“[It’s] a little early to have working fires like this and running after them,” said Cosumnes Fire Battalion Chief Sean Stumbaugh.

Multiple agencies were out working the fire, including helicopters scouting and dropping water. The Wilton Fire Department even set up a rehab center for the crews out fighting the fire, an effort to keep the firefighters hydrated and safe in the heat.

“The firefighters out here today at 2 p.m. earned their money for sure,” Stumbaugh said.

About 25 acres were burned, Cosumnes Fire reports. Officials determined later Sunday night that Mylar balloons that had hit power lines in the area sparked the fires.



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