Fire Crews Battle Flames and Triple-Digit Temperatures

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SACRAMENTO -- "Please put it out."

Concerned cries this afternoon in Sacramento as people near 24th Street and Sutterville feared the flames fueling smoke would spread to where they were standing a few doors down.

This fire did burn two homes, but just the two on either side of the storage area where it started.

The people inside one of the houses when it sparked were able escape without injury, as did firefighters who had to battle the fire and 106-degree temperatures.

Confronting the heat was even more of a challenge along the American River Parkway as part of the greenbelt sparked behind Costco, forcing a call for help to departments around the area.

"We did just have to call some additional resources out due to the heat, and trying to rotate our crews out into rehab. We called out some water tankers, a dozer, as well. Fighting heat conditions is a difficult fight for our crews on a day like today," said Chris Harvey with the Sacramento Fire Department.

A firefighter may have to put on 50 to 60 pounds of gear to get their job done on any day of the week, but with it being 106 on the outside of all that protective gear, you can only imagine how much higher the dial goes inside.

"It's hot. Yeah it's hot," said West Sacramento Fire Department Chief Steve Binns.

Binns' West Sacramento crews were hot and short-handed after sending staff to help Sacramento with what was burning along the American River Parkway.

Then their own emergency flared up in a wheat field along Lake Washington Boulevard.

"The fire was started with a harvester. When we first arrived on scene there was a harvester in the field. The farmer was trying to harvest his wheat," Binns said.

Six departments brought in their brush units to keep that fast-moving fire, driven by north winds, from jumping over a marsh and into the Linden neighborhood.

Binns had hoped to be able to give his crews and those called in multiple rest breaks, but that just wasn't possible given the job at hand.

Thankfully no one suffered heat sickness on a fire that took five hours to get under control.

"You just do it. It's your job. The call comes in, and you just go to work. The crews are good about doing that. No complaints, they just get in there and get the job done," Binns said.

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