Smoldering fire on the Sacramento River Levee

16 Nov
Break in the Storm © 2011 afroditi katsikis

‘Break in the Storm’  Sacramento River view from Sherman Island © 2011 afroditi katsikis

Smoldering fire on Sherman Island levee of the Sacramento River © 2013 afroditi katsikisAfter returning from an appointment I had today, I decided to take my dogs for a walk along the Sacramento River levee and saw a smoldering fire on the levee, unattended, at a place windsurfers call ‘The Sign’! Pissed me off so I took a photo with my phone and called the Rio Vista Fire Dept! I told them it was not an emergency and that I could put it out myself but they said it was their job to do it so they were there in about 15 minutes. The fire department is about 10 miles away.

This is not the first time I’ve come upon an unattended fire on the levee. The first time it happened was shortly after I moved here. I was on my way home late in the evening and saw flames on the levee at a popular fishing spot along the Sacramento River. The wind was blowing from the north which meant the smoke and embers were headed towards the island – not towards the river so I could not ignore this fire. I would never ignore a fire especially an unattended one!

I grabbed my dog’s water bowl from my van but knew it was not going to be enough water in it to put out the fire. Luckily my small folding shovel that I took on camping trips was still in the van. I was able to find enough loose sand and dirt to put out the flames but it was still smoldering. I was hoping if I sprinkled the water from the bowl it might be enough to put out the fire. It wasn’t.

The next thing I did was make my way down to the water’s edge about 12-15 feet down over rip-rap, tree logs and  small shrubs with the empty water bowl. Did this a couple more times before I had put enough water on the fire. When I was satisfied it was out, I  used the shovel to stir it up and spread it out to be assured it would not re-ignite.

I am disgusted by the fishermen who fish from the levees, leave lots of tangled fishing line, fishhooks, and tackle behind because they are much to lazy to pick it up and take it home with them. They start fires and leave their trash behind – beer and soda cans, plastic water bottles, fast food containers, and dirty diapers too!

Over the next few days I plan on documenting all the fishing spots along a 6 mile stretch of the levee on Sherman Island along the Sacramento River. I plan on taking photos of all the litter and places where there have been open fires.

Above photo may be purchased here.


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