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Wildfire Danger Not Limited to Forest

SACRAMENTO–

By now you’ve likely heard that conditions are especially dangerous this spring for wildfires in Northern California forests.

But what about wildfires just down the street from where you live?

“Even within the City of Sacramento we have wild-land urban interface. We have lots that are empty, grass grows every year,” said Battalion Chief Shawn Perry.

He and other urban fire fighters have been busy fighting wild fire too. Even a small grass fire in town has real destructive potential because there are usually homes and other buildings nearby.

And those fire can start in some unexpected ways.

“We had one recently where a hawk was electrocuted out in a field, and he landed on fire in the field, and caused a grass fire,” Battalion Chief Perry said.

So Battalion Chief Perry says the warnings about defensible space are valid for urban homes just as they are for homes in more rural areas. And a quick cell phone call to 9-1-1 can come in handy if you see a fire starting in the dead, brown grass in any open space.

Of course, with all the brown around, fire fighters are happy for all the green they can get.

We asked Perry if his department had the budget for a long, hard fire season.

“That’s a loaded question,” he laughed. “I’m going to avoid that one.”