Fire Shuts Down Highway 99 in Galt

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GALT -- A fire in Galt snarled traffic along Highway 99 and Simmerhorn Road.

Patrick McEnerney's family business in Galt sits right next to his home. On Wednesday, he refused to let the fire take it down.

"I came over to the house and started putting it out behind the house," McEnerney said.

Cain Brothers Body and Paint backs up to northbound Highway 99. So, when a fire sparked across the highway on Simmerhorn Road, McEnerney had to act.

"It was scary," he said. "We were trying to hose down everything we could."

His outhouse and some cars in his storage yard burned after Cosumnes Fire says flames jumped the highway from west to east around 2:30 p.m. Wind, triple digits temperatures and dry conditions made it spread quickly.

"Every ember that lands in a receptive fuel bed will start a fire," said Cosumnes Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin. "That's how ripe the conditions are."

Caltrans says both sides of Highway 99 shut down as crews worked to get a handle on the "intense fire" but with a high 103 degrees in Galt, it was tough to move fast.

"We can't keep them working in the same arduous conditions for long periods of time without rotating the crews through," McLaughlin said.

Once the fire was contained, firefighters continued their mop up. Crews made sure all dangers were clear before letting people back into the area.

Another grass fire was reported near New Hope Road and Orr Road, also in Galt. It spread to around 200 acres. A firefighter was hospitalized with chest pains.

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