By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Multiple state and local agencies are investigating a boat fire that raged on for hours on the Sacramento River Monday evening.

A plume of smoke could be seen for miles as the 85-foot privately owned boat burned in the river under the I-80 bridge connecting Natomas and West Sacramento. The Sacramento Fire Department drafted water from the river to fight the flames as people pulled up wondering what happened.

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“It could be a lot of things. Hope it doesn’t burn nobody’s house down,” one resident in the area said. “It could be really bad right here.”

Crews worked into the night dousing the fire and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office was brought in as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife set up oil spill response equipment.

“Our goal, our mission is to remove the petroleum threat and not have wildlife impacts,” an official from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill and Prevention said. “Get everything off of there, from fuel to batteries to any kind of hazardous materials. We want them out of there so they don’t impact the river.”

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The state is assessing the threat to the environment first, then meeting with the homeowner to find out who the boat belongs to.

“The owner of the boat is responsible to pay the bill. At this point, we’re still investigating who is responsible,” the Fish and Wildlife official said. “That will be determined, but right now, we are going to work to remove the threat with a contractor.”

The removal of the boat comes later. Authorities could not give a timeframe but said it will not be handled by the fire department, the state or the Coast Guard. More likely, it will be removed by a salvage company.

The boat fire is igniting discussion about boats docked in the area. Neighbors are concerned about boats docking illegally along the river. For example, every post that you see a boat next to, the owner of the land attached to it has to pay the city land commission rent monthly.

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Authorities at the scene are taking a closer look at what’s on the water and what’s around it which may have a ripple effect, especially during fire season.