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American River Trail Fire Stopped At 30 Acres, Slowed Evening Commute

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Another tough fire fight along the American River Trail sent smoke billowing into the sky on Tuesday and brought delays to the evening commute.

The fire broke out Tuesday afternoon and did not damage any structures. But when things seemed to be quieting down in the battle against the 30-acre blaze, flames got into live power lines, causing them to arc.

The rough terrain west of Business 80 and Cal Expo meant firefighters needed air support to battle the unpredictable wind-fueled.

“Drought conditions are obvious—had some pretty explosive fire behavior; made some good runs on us,” said Roberto Padilla with Sac City Fire.

The fire and smoke weren’t enough to impact kids day at the California State Fair, but it did cause major commute headaches. Westbound Business 80 was closed at Exposition Boulevard for about 20 minutes at 6 p.m. as flames threatened to head that way.

Bicyclists like Marlon Cuellart were forced to turn back thanks to yet another fire. A similar fire burned on the other side of Business 80 near Cal Expo, threatening the Fourth of July fireworks show and postponing a Sacramento Republic soccer match.

Cuellart says it’s becoming an all-too-familiar scene.

“I was hoping to get a little bike ride in this way but unfortunately it’s not going to happen,” he said.

Sacramento firefighters say they’re seeing fire conditions usually reserved for September or October after fuels have months to dry out.

“This is near downtown Sacramento,” Padilla said. “This isn’t the foothills or the mountains. This is in a very populated urban setting.”

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