SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Flames lit up the night sky Wednesday, just yards away from Tasha Norton’s Sacramento apartment off Howe avenue.
“That was pretty close, Norton explained. “It is super scary given the nature of California fires.”READ MORE: 'We Want To Take An Innovated Approach': Sacramento City Pilot Project Sets Aside $1M For Community To Spend
The fire was one of two happening the same night along the lower American River Parkway. The first sparked behind Cal Expo near Heart Health Park. That fire required around one hundred firefighters to stop the flames.
Cpt. Keith Wade with Sacramento Fire said fires are nothing new for the American River Parkway.
“We are prepared for this. It happens every year, unfortunately, we are early in the season,” explained Wade.
Crews used tactics including setting more fire, to help stop the flames from spreading.
“Back burning is one of the operations that they are doing to get rid of the fuel that is in the path of this fire,” Wade said.READ MORE: 'I Cannot Safely Return To Work': West Campus Vice Principal Dr. Elysse Versher Resigns, Citing History Of Racial And Sexual Harassment
Popping could be heard throughout the area near Norton’s apartment. Wade said the sound is an indication of homeless camps on fire. Latrell James said he often spots homeless encampments while biking along the parkway. Still, when James woke up a day after the fire, he was surprised to see the burned brush and charred land throughout the area.
“I thought I was dreaming because I looked and said ‘Where are the trees at? Where is the vegetation at?’ ” he said.
The causes of both fires were ruled undetermined, but officials suspect it could be caused by humans.
A spokesperson for the Sacramento Area Fire Fighters union says local government needs to do more.
“The fires are not new and are well documented. The issue is to a point, the lack of public acknowledgment that the situation is potentially getting out of hand. The onslaught of fires is putting the community at major risk,” said spokesperson Robert Padilla.
Padilla explained he believes the City of Sacramento shares a responsibility when it comes to addressing fires he says are often caused by encampments.MORE NEWS: 'The Saddest Thing I've Ever Seen': Community Shaken After 3-Year-Old Dies In Arden-Arcade Fourplex Fire
CBS13 reached out to the city for comment. A spokesperson with the city directed comment back to the fire department.