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'Beat the Smoke' | What you need to know about the Smokechasers Festival in Amador County

Unlike a town hall or open house, Smokechasers is leaning more into the festival mentality - providing music, food and fun along with fire resources.

PLYMOUTH, Calif. — A fire-wise group is hoping people in Amador County come "beat the smoke" at the second Smokerchasers Festival.

The festival is a resource and vendor fair combined with food trucks and drinks -- all with a fire education twist. In other words, it has the educational components of a firefighter open house, but leans more into the entertainment qualities of a street fair and festival.

"We bring in all of your local first responders from fire departments, law enforcement agencies and everything in between, including defensible space, home hardening vendors, craft vendors," said Kayla Dale, event organizer. "And then to make it super fun, we have live bands, beer and wine gardens, (and) five different food trucks coming to really kind of hit all the target audiences."

Last year was the inaugural event, but Dale is hoping this year will pack an even bigger punch.

Here's what to know.

What is the Smokechasers Festival

"This entire event is to kick off wildfire preparedness, fire preparedness, and really just let people know what resources are available to them when it comes to fire season or just large incidents in their area," said Dale.

The goal is to help people learn what resources are available and how they can prepare themselves for wildfires -- but with all the fun of a festival. 

The first one was held in 2022, just a couple of months before the Electra Fire sparked and burned thousands of acres in Amador and Calaveras counties.

"To say there's never going to be a fire in this area is wrong in my book. We don't know when it's gonna happen," said Dale. "We don't know how or where or the timing, it could be this summer, it could be five years from now. But yes, I think last year being the first year of Smokechasers and then having a significant fire two months later, was just a big eye opener."

Smokechasers Festival Highlights

A big part of Smokechasers is highlighting the lesser known resources available to people in the area. 

These resources include chipping services that clean up the brush on properties. Other resources include dozer services that can make field breaks, ember wash services to prevent house fires and retardant spray services for homes.

"I know a handful of them will have special deals writing for the people that attend this event," said Dale.

However, even if people are not interested in the fire resources, there's still plenty to take in from the event.

Primitivo and Viva Santana will be hitting the stage. Viva Santana is known for being a top cover band for Santana in Northern California.

Foodwise, there'll be food trucks ready to dish out Asian cuisine, barbecue, pasta and cotton candy, slushies and more. There'll even be some margarita stands and some miniature animals.

First responders will also be hauling out their fire engines, boats and SWAT team equipment for kids and guests to look at and take pictures with. Dale said kids will even be able to experience what it feels like to pull out a real fire hose and experience the water coming out.

"If you have no care in the world of fire preparedness or education, then I guarantee you, you can enjoy some good food. We have a cigar booth coming. We have all kinds of things for people," said Dale.

For more the activities at the festival, click HERE.

How much is it?

Tickets fore entry are $15 if bought online. They are $20 at the gate. However, children 12 years of age and younger are free.

Parking is free.

For more ticket information, click HERE.

Where is it?

The Smokechasers Festival will be held at the Amador County Fairground in Plymouth from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.

For live traffic updates, view the Waze map below.


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