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Outbreak of weekend fires in Sacramento County highlights incoming fire danger

"We're at the early stages of the fire season, but it looks like we're going to be busy," said Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Parker Wilbourn.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — In a reminder of the ongoing threat of wildfires, local fire crews responded to several sudden grass and vegetation fires over the weekend.

"We're at the early stages of the fire season, but it looks like we're going to be busy," said Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Parker Wilbourn, who was responding to a three-acre vegetation fire near the American River in Carmichael.

"That fire was bumping up into multiple homeless encampments, so crews were able to put hose lines on the ground," Wilbourn said, adding that the camps were evacuated and nobody was hurt.

The fire district released multiple videos from its wildland firefighting helicopter on Saturday and Sunday, which can rapidly deploy and drop more than 400 gallons of water.

An air drop in Rio Linda Saturday helped extinguish a half-acre grass fire before it had the chance to threaten surrounding homes. 

Another video shows a fire threatening structures in South Sacramento; another shows a grass fire near Mather Airport that reached 14 acres before crews could put it out.

Wilbourn said he believes people are getting the message about wildfire risks this summer. 

"There is a significant increase in the overall awareness in our community," Wilbourn said, adding that people are doing things like maintaining defensible space around their homes, packing "go-bags" and making escape plans out of their neighborhoods ahead of time. 

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