Hard to believe that’s what was going on recently, and the May 27th story in the Sacramento Bee about fire training with controlled burns in the Parkway was really kind of a shocker as I have never heard of doing controlled fire burns next to residential neighborhoods—though I must admit, controlled burns is not something I keep up on, so perhaps it is more common than I know.
Folks in the Woodlake neighborhood have complained about smoke, and that makes one wonder if this is really appropriate, and, good news, I have been told that the fire burning has been stopped due to the complaints.
On the other hand, the area being burned is exactly the area where many Parkway fires have been started in the past, and according to the same Bee article: “Fire officials believe most of the fires on American River Parkway are due to human activity, mostly from illegal homeless encampments.”
So, maybe that is another reason this is being done, to reduce available fuel in anticipation of a dry and fiery summer, though no one has come out and said that is a reason.
If that is a reason, I can understand it not being expressed, since the obvious rejoinder would be; stop the illegal camping in the Parkway, thereby reducing the fire starters, rather than burdening adjacent neighborhoods with “controlled burns” next door to them.
An excerpt from the Bee story:
Twenty firefighters spent Wednesday morning setting fires and containing them, part of the largest live-training exercise ever held on the American River Parkway, fire officials said.
Behind Costco and Cal Expo, the small brush fires sent plumes of smoke billowing into the air near bustling commuter traffic on Interstate 80. Sacramento Fire Department officials say the hands-on training will provide invaluable experience to firefighters who are readying for another year of drought conditions.
“We anticipate a busy fire season like last year,” said Roberto Padilla, a spokesman and firefighter with the Sacramento Fire Department.
Nearly 500 firefighters from across the region are expected to participate in the exercises over the next month. The training burns will encompass between 60 to 100 acres when the program finishes, according to Padilla.