Fighting Fire With Fire in the American River Parkway

Where there's smoke, there is fire, as the saying goes.  In the American River Parkway the smoke you see this week is from fires with a purpose.  Sacramento City Fire is conducting controlled burns on 28 acres along the parkway near highway 160 as part of a larger effort to reduce the fire fuels that sprouted up with all the rain during the winter and spring months.

Photo by Ryan Harris, NewsRadio KFBK

Beside the controlled burns, utilities are spraying herbicides and, nearer to Cal Expo, some grazing livestock are being used to keep dried grasses down.


The conditions have to be just right for a controlled burn.  That means temperatures that are not as high as they were last week, wind at the right speed and, according to Sac Firefighter Chris Harvey, brush that is only a couple feet high.  Burning grass can be hazardous. "The flame lengths get taller, we can have some downwind spotting, you know, we can be setting spot fires outside of the area that we want to burn," said Harvey.  "We only burn when the fuels are about waist high."

Photo by Ryan Harris, NewsRadio KFBK

Harvey noted that crews with hoses laid out on all sides of the burn area to make sure they can knock down any flames that jump their lines.


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