19 brush fire 1

A firefighter puts out a brush fire near Westbound Interstate 80 and Rockville Road in Fairfield, Wednesday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


Grass fires along I-80 keep firefighters busy

By From page A1 | June 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Fire crews were busy Wednesday afternoon when three separate grass fires ignited along the Interstate 80 corridor in Fairfield.

Dispatch started receiving calls about 3:15 p.m. about multiple fires from Air Base Parkway to Abernathy Road along westbound I-80.

“We had a bunch of roadside fires going on,” Battalion Chief Bob Stoffel said.

The biggest fire erupted about 3:30 p.m. just west of West Texas Street and sent a plume of gray smoke into the air. Fairfield firefighters responded with assistance from the Suisun Fire Protection District as well as the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which was passing through the area and stopped with a crew of prison inmates.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze that had made its way through vegetation around Ledgewood Creek and burned about 5 acres. The inmate crew was breaking down wood and tossing it into the creek while firefighters applied water from the overcrossing. The westbound onramp was closed to traffic as well as the two right lanes of I-80. Crews were on scene until about 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile a fire had jumped over a sound wall east of Travis Boulevard and burned the backyard of a home before crews managed to knock it down.

“The second one climbed the sound wall via vegetation growing on the wall,” Stoffel said. “It did a little bit of damage to the backyard of the house on Barbour Drive.”

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in 30 to 45 minutes, Stoffel said.

A less significant fire near Waterman Boulevard was contained within a short amount of time.

“(That) was a small fire that we were able to pick up very quickly,” Stoffel said.

The fires along I-80 were likely related and were probably caused by a vehicle that had a mechanical malfunction, Stoffel said.

“I’m sure they are all related,” he said. “It’s just too coincidental to have that many fires in that short of area.”

He said responding to multiple fires at one time presents a challenge for the department.

“We start using all of our resources really quickly,” he said. “Crews had to work extra hard to bring the fires under control quickly so we could work the other fires that started.”

He said there were no injuries.

Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne joined the Daily Republic in September 2009. She earned her journalism degree at the University of Florida in 2005 and has worked at newspapers in Fort Pierce, Fla.; Las Cruces, N.M.; and El Paso, Texas.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • mike gregorJune 19, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    So over the weeks a road side clean up was happening from the Cordelia end of why 80. It's too bad they didn't start from the fairfield end or this fire would not have started. My question is why don't they work more crews. Obviously there is a lot of work for a lot of people and this is the area to do it. HIRE SOME PEOPLE WHO NEED JOBS !!!! Get it cleaned up

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fire Marshal BillJune 19, 2014 - 7:04 pm

    I'm just waiting for all the weeds along Hwy 12 to go up in flames AGAIN. Just a matter of time till it jumps the sound wall and rips though that older neighbor hood.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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