July 18, 2008

Tree Sparks Fire in Dobbins

By Andrea Koskey, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Jul. 18--A downed tree sparked a four-acre fire in the Yuba County foothills Thursday afternoon that did not harm any structures, but resulted in a quick response from local firefighters.

"We don't need another fire like the ones burning in Butte or Shasta counties," Dobbins Fire Chief Mike Butler said, referring to the thousands of acres still burning in both counties.

Witnesses said firefighters arrived quickly after the blaze began.

"We're trying to keep it from becoming a big fire," Butler said.

Butler said one dozer, five engines and as many water-tankers as possible responded to the fire because of the hot and dry conditions.

Firefighters from Brownsville, Loma Rica, Dobbins/Oregon House, Foothill Fire and Cal Fire in Dobbins helped put out the flames. Two planes also helped watch the blaze from above and dropped flame retardant to protect two homes that were less than 200 yards from the flames.

Butler said the fire, which was off Rice's Crossing Road in Oregon House, was started when a tree fell on a powerline.

Butler said he did not know if the tree fell on its own or work being done on trees nearby caused the large oak to fall.

"The tree service said the heard the tree snap, but there is a large oak on the ground and its cut at the base," he said.

Frankie Burr, a foreman with Trees Service, was trimming trees roughly 20 feet from where the oak fell.

"It was scary," he said. "But I didn't do it."

Burr said the company is contracted by PG&E to trim trees around powerline to prevent fires.

"It makes you think the next tree that breaks could be the one you're climbing," he said.

No one was injured in the fire. It was contained in less than an hour.


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Copyright (c) 2008, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

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