Emergency responders contained four small vegetation fires that broke out in the northwest corner of the county over the weekend.
On June 28 at 7:42 p.m., firefighters from Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) responded to a vegetation fire in the 4000 block of South Burson Road. Forward progress was stopped and the fire was contained to one acre. The cause was linked to people shooting in their backyard, sparking a pile of rocks, according to Lindy Shoff, public information officer with Cal Fire.
A two-acre grass fire broke out the next night, June 29, at around 8 p.m. in the Wrinkle Cove Day Use area north of New Hogan Lake around the time of the New Hogan Fireworks Show, Shoff confirmed. A Cal Fire engine in Valley Springs observed a smoke column and found a 100-by-100-foot spot spreading at a moderate rate in the area. The suspected cause was two juveniles smoking cigarettes, according to Calaveras Consolidated Fire Chief Rich Dickinson.
On June 30 at around 1:20 p.m., a vegetation fire off of Olive Orchard Road started from a homeowner mowing with a tractor, Shoff confirmed. Calaveras Consolidated Fire District and Cal Fire crews responded, quickly containing the small blaze at less than an acre. The homeowner was cited for negligence, meaning he’ll have to cover the cost of the response, which could amount to thousands of dollars, depending on the court’s decision, Dustin Galliazzo, an engineer with the Calaveras Consolidated Fire District told the Enterprise Tuesday.
“This was during the hottest part of the afternoon, and it could’ve been avoided. We recommend yard work to be finished before 10 a.m.,” Galliazzo said.
To round up the busy weekend for Calaveras Consolidated and Cal Fire, crews also responded to the first illegal fireworks-started fire of the year in the 5000 block of South Burson Road on June 30 around midnight. That fire was contained at under one-eighth of an acre, according to Dickinson.
In response to “misinformation on social media,” Dickinson wrote in a June 30 Facebook post that fires in the district’s response area have largely been caused by mowing and burning in the community, rather than fireworks.