|Grass and brush fires are often spread even more quickly by brisk winds.|
With water at a premium, firefighting is challenging and consumes critical water stores from an already severely depleted supply. Berkeley was one of several cities and towns that cancelled municipal fireworks events due to concerns about fire and the amount of water - an expensive commodity these days - it would take to hose down areas that would be at risk for igniting or to fight a fire if one erupted. Here in American Canyon, the fire engines and firefighters stood ready to respond to any incidents stemming from the city's fireworks display.
On the night of the 4th of July, a wind-fueled grass fire that involved 320 acres in Vacaville threatened 200 homes. It was completely contained, however, and a teenager was arrested on Friday and charge with causing the fire. Some news reports attribute the cause of the fire to illegal fireworks.
|The hills were a verdant green in early spring. Lack of rain has killed the grass.|
Despite the publicity and stern warnings from the police department, kids have been lighting off fireworks and we've all been concerned about the potential for a fire being ignited.
|I looked out of the sliders and was shocked to see thick brown smoke.|
A grass fire was moving very quickly across a field behind the ruins of an old cement and basalt plant. The plant has been abandoned since the 1970's but the city has been considering a plan to develop the area and the historic buildings into a town center. I'm not sure where they are in the process, but the buildings are considered historically important, and would make a unique and interesting city center, no matter how the city planned to develop the area.
|A California Highway Patrol helicopter alerted me to the fire.|
Distressing to me was that just a short time after all of the fire safety staff cleared the scene, I heard some kids out in the back parking lot of our apartment complex firing off rockets and other fireworks -- totally illegal and very risky given the amount of easily combustible dry grass. Especially after a fire so close, one would have thought that their parents would use some common sense.
|Three of at least four fire apparatus that responded to the fire.|
|Firefighters controlling the spread of the mostly grass fire.|
|I watched as fire moved across the field. These fires often spread quickly when fueled by the strong winds that are typical of this part of the valley.|
|Firefighters extinguish the fire at the leading edge where it was spreading across the field. They had this area of the fire out within minutes.|
|The field behind the abandoned buildings where the grass fire broke out.|
|The fire extended across the expanse behind the abandoned buildings. Multiple firefighting units brought it quickly to a standstill.|
|The sun was beginning to set as the firefighters wrapped up their efforts and inspected for any remaining flames or embers.|
|Firetruck leaving, moving past the rotunda building. The buildings are covered in graffiti. Hopefully they will be restored one day and be the centerpiece of a new city center.|