By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Ignacio Cervantes was out of town when the field across the street from his home caught on fire. But he came back in time to see city crews hard at work, trimming the overgrown weeds butted up against the burn scars.

He wasn’t very happy to see crews left dry brush everywhere—the sidewalk cracks, in between his once fresh green grass.

And to add fuel to the fire, the overgrown weeds weren’t fully removed.

“The weeds are extremely high. Anyone that can be driving by smoking or taking a walk and smoking – it’ll light up right away,” he said.

Rancho Cordova has seen its share of brush fires in recent weeks, many sparked by illegal fireworks weeks after the Fourth of July.

Even the mayor of Rancho Cordova is losing his patience.

“People out shooting out illegal fireworks in our vacant fields,” said Mayor Donald Terry.

So if fire is such a threat here, why won’t the city get rid of dry weeds in some areas?

Apparently, some of this dry land is protected.

“We’ve got some preserves, and we have to work with fish and game to make sure we’re not going in and damaging some of their wetlands,” said Kerry Simpson.

Kerry Simpson is in charge of code enforcement. She says the city may be limited in how much weed if can cut because of Fish and Game restrictions, but officials promise to get aggressive with weed abatement. Homeowners who don’t cut at least 30 feet of defensible space face major fines.

“We want to make sure folks are safe, and their properties are protected,” said Simpson.

As for Ignacio, he’s a dad now and didn’t have time to complain. But he’s hoping he won’t come home one day – to put out a different kind of fire.

“Message to the city is get on it and take care of what I feel they should be taking care of,” he said.

If you see a lot—whether private or city—not in compliance with weed abatement codes, Metro Fire would like to hear from you.

Fill out this complaint form:


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