Fast-moving grass fire threatens homes and prompts evacuations in Sacramento County

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A fast-moving grass fire Sunday is prompting evacuations in southeastern Sacramento County after flames jumped Eagles Nest Road, not far from Jackson Road.

The vegetation fire, also called the Jackson Fire, started around 11:45 a.m. and was reported near Excelsior Road and Jackson Road, where Highway 16 runs. Just after 12:30 p.m., firefighters on the ground said several buildings appeared to be on fire or threatened. This is evident from radio messages monitored by The Sacramento Bee.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Battalion Chief Parker Wilbourn said “crews are working a very large vegetation fire. … Cal Fire is also responding with aircraft and ground resources.”

Radio reports indicated the fire was moving south and east. Photos of the flames along Sunrise and Kiefer boulevards showed towering plumes of brown and black smoke.

He said several homes were threatened and evacuations were underway in the area. Officials from the county emergency services office were not immediately available, but evacuation maps on the county’s website indicated homes in the southern part of zone 72 were affected.

Several roads in the area are closed, including Sunrise Road and Jackson Road between Excelsior and Sunrise.

The Capital Region and most of the Sacramento Valley are under the first red flag warning of the year as strong winds and high temperatures add to the fire danger.