Local fire crews put out wind-fanned fire

Potentially serious Loomis vegetation fire knocked down
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Fire crews continue to mop up a one-acre vegetation fire on Vista Drive and Moore Lane in Loomis that was fanned by 25 MPH wind gusts, according to Jim Mathias, Battalion Chief with CAL Fire. Mathias said the fire call came in at about 12:50 p.m., Saturday, June 9, and it took 10 engines 30 minutes to get the fire under control. He said about 30 firefighters from Loomis, Penryn, South Placer and CAL Fire worked to put out the blaze that had the potential to be a very serious fire. Mathias said power lines arcing and sparking probably started the blaze and PG&E would be shutting down power to the area to correct the situation. Fire crews were issued a safety warning to avoid the area under the power lines as they put out the fire and the area was cordoned off. Mathias said that no homes or buildings were damaged because they had defensible spaces around them. Mathias said winds were reported to be 12 MPH with 25 MPH gusts. Loomis Fire Protection District Chief Dave Wheeler was on the scene and said that luckily the winds were offshore as opposed to drying winds coming from the other direction. ?Offshore winds are moister,? Wheeler said. Sean Garcia, of Placerville, was doing work on a property adjacent to the fire and he said, ?I looked up and saw a 30- to 40-foot ball of fire and a wind gust was picking it up. There was a lot of smoke.? Garcia said he called 911 and notified occupants of the home of the fire. Jim Billings, who lives in a home next to the fire, said Garcia came and got him and he said he started moving vehicles parked on the dry grass on the slope where the fire was burning. ?The fire went into the trees next to the house,? Billings said. Billings said he had to break a window in order to enter and move a vehicle that was parked next to the fire. Mathias said two CAL Fire hand crews arrived on the scene to cut a fire break around the area as fire crews finished putting out hot spots.