VACAVILLE — Several fires kept Solano County’s fire crews busy Thursday, with the biggest being the 70-acre Norman Fire in the English Hills area north of Vacaville.
The Norman Fire – so-named by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – got reported at about 2:30 p.m. It broke out near the 4000 block of Norman Court and quickly became a three-alarm vegetation fire. The Vacaville Fire Protection District called for additional crews to protect rural homes and properties as the fire spread through dry brush.
Fire crews declared the fire 80 percent contained by 5 p.m. Crews could be seen in blackened fields west of Olivas Lane and Rolling Hills Lane looking for hot spots. The fire drew various television crews to the scene.
The Fairfield Fire Department at 5:45 p.m. worked a small fire in brush near the onramp for westbound Interstate 80 from Manuel Campos Parkway and Hilborn Road. Drivers on the freeway slowed down to watch, backing up traffic for more than a half-mile.
Dixon fire crews fought a grass fire on the 8300 block of Patrick Lane at 7 p.m. Three acres or more burned and the fire got upgraded to a two-alarm grass fire. Crews quickly brought it under control.
Brown smoke could be seen rising at 7:15 p.m. from the brush near the railroad tracks east of Clay Street and various county offices. The Fairfield Fire Department responded, but firefighters could only watch from a berm. They were separated from the fire by both a creek and the railroad tracks, with the fire burning within the borders of Suisun City.
Suisun City firefighters arrived, but had to reach the fire, which was away from roads. Firefighters went to Railroad Avenue and Marina Boulevard and drove in the field alongside the tracks.
Cal-Fire officials in May said the drought has left Northern California with an elevated threat of wildfires. The department urges rural homeowners to take such steps as maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around homes, trimming branches 6 feet from the ground and landscaping with fire-resistant and drought-tolerant plants.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.