While flames engulfed sheds and chicken coops, firefighters saved two homes from a brush fire off Highway 99 in Acampo Monday afternoon.
Fire crews found heavy, black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air when they arrived around noon in the 24000 block of East Frontage Road.
Woodbridge Fire Captain Jaime Ramirez said the fire extended into several chicken coops and outbuildings, and destroyed about five acres of grass.
Beside a vacant home with a foreclosure notice taped on the front door were several small structures and a large chicken coop already up in flames.
Nearby, piles of trash and several acres of dried, overgrown grass behind the rural home had also caught fire.
Fire crews weren’t sure how the fire began, but it had spread fast and was burning mere feet away from the home and large, neighboring structure. Firefighters worked quickly, hustling with hoses through the fields in order to stop the fire short of the buildings.
“What we do is we try to protect as many structures as we possibly can,” said Ramirez. “It was pretty successful protecting the major structures. As far as the smaller buildings and chicken coops, they succumbed to the fire.”
With the buildings secure, crews from Woodbridge, Liberty and Mokelumne fire districts continued spraying the chicken coops and sheds, which were already charred and destroyed.
Two fire engines followed the fire several hundred yards into the field and away from the home and put it out before it spread any farther.
Smoke was rising from a rotting pool house, causing firefighters to tear it apart and spray it down.
By 3 p.m., several crews had left the scene.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.