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Sentinel staff report–
Nearly a dozen Metro Fire vehicles including two battalion chiefs were dispatched to the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Antelope Road Wednesday evening for a report of “significant smoke,” believed to be a commercial fire.
Fire Capt. Chris Vestal said the source of the smoke was eventually determined to have been coming from a burn pile in the backyard of a residence, located several blocks away from the intersection. The fire was “not threatening any homes or vegetation,” but was extinguished by fire personnel due to the county’s prohibition on open burning in urban areas.
He said similar calls occur “fairly frequently” during winter months and can take away resources from other calls occurring at the same time.
“Any call that we have that’s for an incident that either should have not occurred, was preventable, or was otherwise unnecessary, reduces our ability to respond to subsequent incidences in the area,” said Vestal. “But we still would rather have people call than not.”
He also said “people need to realize that burn piles are not allowed” in Sacramento County, with few exceptions.
The captain said burning of wood in outdoor fire pits is allowed, but must not have a higher flame than 24 inches, and not be used for the purpose of disposing waste or vegetation — including leaf burning. Such fires are also banned on mandatory curtailment days, as part of the county’s “Check before you Burn” air quality requirement.
Additionally, blowing too much smoke into a neighbor’s yard can create legal trouble, so Vestal recommends being “courteous of your neighbors and the amount of smoke you’re producing.”
More information about outdoor burning and burn days can be found at airquality.org/Residents/Outdoor-Burning.
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