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Grass Fire Burns Near Sac International Airport

SACRAMENTO -- The smoke-filled skies around Sacramento International Airport just before noon Monday were the result of a five-alarm fire that swept through 156 acres of dry grass.

The wind is always troublesome in wide open spaces and that was the case at West Elkhorn Boulevard and Powerline Road.

"It was about 70 to 100 firefighters. It went to five alarms, which is a good, decent size grass fire," said Sacramento Fire Capt. Keith Ward.

A helicopter made water drops as well.

There was a residence nearby but the road made for a good fire break. Other units established a perimeter and let the fire burn out.

Yet, despite some cooler spring weather, the humidity was low Monday.

"There’s power lines out there. There are water pumping stations," Ward said. "There’s stuff out there affects residents of the city, affects people in the county. It can affect the airport."

Luckily the smoke was blowing away from the airport runways and flights were not affected.

Investigators are determining a cause but a hay bailing crew indicated that it might have caused a mechanical spark.

"We know that accidents do happen and sometimes things are unavoidable," Ward told FOX40. "But we always still caution, especially this time of year, if you’re out doing some yardwork or field maintenance, do things as early as possible in the day before the wind kind of gets going and before the heat of the day makes the chance of a fire greater."

The fire department had scheduled some live fire training a few weeks ago but postponed it because of the windy, dry conditions.