Sacto 9-1-1
July 12, 2013
Tossed cigarette blamed for fire that threatened Fair Oaks homes

Fire officials say a discarded cigarette was to blame for a grass fire that burned fences and threatened homes in Fair Oaks this afternoon.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were dispatched at 3:53 p.m. to a report of a fence and grass fire in the area of Bannister and Winding ways. The first units on scene reported that two homes were threatened and called for additional resources, according to a fire district news release.

Crews attacked the fire, which had moved from grass near the street and into the back yards of two homes, with trees involved. Firefighters were able to contain the fire before it reached the homes. Damage was limited to perimeter fencing and minor scorching of paint on an outbuilding, fire officials said.

People in the area reported that they saw a man riding a bicycle discard a cigarette in the dry grass. Minutes later, they saw smoke and fire, and called 911. Investigators also noted that one of the backyards had tall, dry grass and lacked landscaping, which allowed the fire to rapidly progress.

Fire officials said the incident highlights the need to create a defensible space around homes by removing all flammable vegetation at least 30 feet from all structures and replacing it with fire-resistant plants.

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