Grinding work to remove bolts in an operation to salvage lumber from a barn may have sparked a fire in a pear orchard in the Sloughhouse area Wednesday afternoon, according to fire investigators.
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded at 4:57 p.m. to a report of a fire at 7801 Sloughhouse Road. When they arrived, firefighters found a large barn at the rural pear ranch well involved in fire. They called for assistance from the Cosumnes and Wilton fire department to combat the fast-moving blaze.
The fire destroyed two vacant bunkhouses and two barns that were not in use, all of which were reportedly scheduled for demolition, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.
Nobody was injured, and the primary residence on the ranch was saved.
Officials said fire crews had to contend with a 500-gallon propane tank that released propane while exposed to the fire and contributed to the fire's spread. A Metro Fire helicopter was able to draft water from a nearby canal and made multiple water drops to help contain the fire. A bulldozer also was used to create a fuel break and prevent the fire from reaching a stack of large wooden pear crates and heavier vegetation.
Fire officials urge residents to have a garden hose, water supply or an extinguisher nearby when performing work that might create sparks or friction heat near combustible material.