Juveniles say they started fire accidentally, officials say

Fire at Bass Lake

Golfers head for Hole 5 of the North Course Thursday afternoon as fire crews contain a fire in the hilly wooded area on the other side of the cart path, close to homes in the Fairways.

[Updated 10:40 p.m.] A fire burned four acres above Bass Lake, near the Fairways development, late Thursday afternoon. Juveniles seen in the area shortly before the fire erupted were located and questioned by a fire investigator a few hours later, and they said they started the fire accidentally, officials said.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum said the fire was reported at 4:04 p.m. Sac Metro Captain Brian Benton said firefighters had it under control within 15 to 20 minutes.

Three teenage boys were questioned by a Cal Fire investigator about their role in starting the fire, Cockrum said Thursday evening. He said the juveniles, ages 13, 15 and 17, told fire officials they were trying to create smoke at a bee hive.

“They were videotaping it,” Cockrum said. One of the juveniles burned his hand and dropped what was being used to create smoke and “it started a grass fire,” Cockrum said the boys told fire officials.  “They tried to put it out by stomping it out, burned the leg hairs on a couple of them. And then they took off.”

The trio was located after two Murietans in the area learned that fire officials and Rancho Murieta Security officers were looking for three juveniles with a video camera in connection with the fire. When the pair encountered the juveniles along the trail to a swim beach at the river, they contacted Security.

A helicopter and a bulldozer were among the equipment used to fight the blaze.  The helicopter took water from Lake Clementia and dumped it on the flames.  Two water tenders, each carrying 3,000 gallons, were used as well, Benton said.

The fire  swept through the oak grove and also a pioneer cemetery located there. It’s one of two cemeteries in Rancho Murieta that are officially recognized as Sacramento County historical cemeteries. The other cemetery is located in Murieta South.

Crews from both Sac Metro and Cal Fire fought the fire.

Water

Water taken from Lake Clementia was dumped on the flames.

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RM.com
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More fire photos

Neighbor Rick Feldman shares these photos of the fire.  "Sorry for the quality," he writes. "I used my phone."  (Thanks for your trouble and for sharing the photos, Rick.) 

Trees

Firefighter

Copter

RM.com
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Fire near the river

Lost in the commotion of Thursday's fire at Bass Lake was another fire earlier in the day.  Several of you asked about a fire overnight at the river.  Thursday's Security Logs contain this entry:

1:13 a.m. -- Fire.  Bermuda Court.  Report of fire near river, patrol located a grass fire under a SMUD pole, power surge reported just before fire.  SMFD responded, SMUD notified.

Katie Cantrell
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I sure hope that the boys

I sure hope that the boys and/or their families will have to pay for the cost to fight the fire or at least get in serious trouble.

Also, I am not sure if they know...but there is a major decline in the worldwide honeybee population. Honeybees are vital for the pollination of most of our fruits, vegetables and flowers... No one should be killing or messing with honeybees now if they care about having fruits and vegies in the future!