Fire in Roseville's Maidu Park Was Arson
Monday 3:40 p.m. update
Fire investigators from the Roseville Fire Department and Cal Fire say the Friday grass fire in Maidu Regional Park was arson.
Five homes were damaged by the fire. The city says the damage is estimated at more than $1 million.
The city says all the homes damaged had combustible wood shake roofing materials, which were ignited by flying embers.
Both agencies are still investigating the fire, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Roseville Police Department at 916 774-5070.
Friday 5:40 p.m. update
The fire in Roseville’s Maidu Park is now 100 percent contained after burning 30 acres and five homes.
“The extent of damage [on the five homes affected by the fire] ranges from minor to moderate,” says Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Carman. “None of the homes burned down. I believe they will all be able to be rebuilt. Most of the fire was confined to the exterior portions of the home – flammable roofs and those kind of things.”
Carman says the fire broke out at the park’s Maidu Indian Interpretive Grounds, a grass-filled nature area.
“Our first arriving units arrived on scene to find children leaving the area and a small grass fire. We had a heavy wind on it and heavy fuels, and the fire quickly grew,” says Carman.
Roseville immediately called for help from neighboring fire departments and CalFIRE. Those additional resources helped contain the fire.
Neighbors who live across the street from the park who had been asked to evacuate or shelter in place can now return to their homes.
Friday 5:05 p.m. update
Brian Jacobsen with the City of Roseville says the fire started at about 2:30 as a brush fire, but made its way into a residential area where it caused damage to five homes.
“There are five structures that were involved –four of them put out. One is still a working fire,” says Jacobsen.
Fire officials say 180 firefighters were involved. Children were seen leaving the area of the fires origin. Cause of the fire is being called suspicious.
The Red Cross is assisting residents of the five homes that were affected by the fire.
4:13 p.m. update
The City of Roseville says evacuation notices have been sent out for neighborhoods around the park.
Sac Metro Fire has sent at least three battalion chiefs and five grass rigs.
CalFire’s Janet Upton says the state has dispatched a strike team of five fire engines and crews to help out – but says based on aerial footage, it appears the local fire departments have the vegetation fire under control.
“And I’m sure they had some challenging conditions with the wind. It appears that there was quite a bit of wind on the fire, and certainly, it’s the time of day when conditions are at their driest,” says Upton.
Rick Rusk lives in Roseville. He says the fire is burning in a part of Maidu Park that’s a nature area with bike and jogging trails.
“It’s pretty green. That’s why it kind of surprised me there was a grass fire out there. It’s probably ten acres or so of grass,” says Rusk.
The City of Roseville says evacuation notices have been sent out for neighborhoods around the park, but firefighters are confident the fire is surrounded.
Sac Metro Fire, Cal Fire, and other agencies have sent 35 engines and about 100 firefighters to fight the fire.
Friday 4:10 Update From the Press Tribune:
Roseville firefighters are responding to a fire in a wooded area behind Maidu Regional Park. At least two homes are on fire.
The fire jumped the creek and is threatening numerous homes on McLaren Drive and Outrigger Court. Firefighters on the ground are advising all pedestrians and motorists to stay clear of McLaren Drive.
A number of residents are evacuating from homes near the corner of Chippendale Way and Thistledown Drive.
The fire was reported around 2:20 p.m. Initial witnesses reported it as two separate fires. The first one was quickly extinguished by arriving firefighters; the other has started to spread.
Roseville Fire has called for mutual aid from surrounding agencies. Rocklin Fire has arrived to help battle the flames. Air support has arrived from Sac Metro Fire.
The Press Tribune is on-scene. More details will be posted as they become available.
(3:45) The Roseville Fire Department says it is burning between McLaren Dr. to the south and Johnson Ranch Dr. to the north. The fire started as a brush fire, but has made its way into a residential area. (check back for frequent updates)
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