SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento firefighters spend most of their flame duty putting out structure fires, but during the warmer months, wildfires along the American River Parkway (often started by transients) can be a daily battle as well.
The department's solution -- or at least a big help -- go smaller.
Purchased in December with a price of $170,000 each, the department now has four "patrol trucks" that will take over for grassland engines that, in many cases, are 20 years old.
The patrol trucks can carry 400 gallons of water, nearly as much as a traditional fire engine, however, the key to its fire fighting ability is its ability to go nearly anywhere.
With massive, nearly impenetrable tires, and an elevated body, the trucks are able to navigate steep inclines and declines being touted at all terrain vehicles.
"If need be, we can up and over a levee to get to the fire much faster," said Sacramento Fire Captain Dave Lauchner.
In the past, crews would have to spend valuable seconds or minutes opening one of the many gates along the parkway that keep commercial vehicles out just to get to a fire.
That won't be an issue anymore the department says.