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Fields a repeat problem for Ceres Fire
Firefighters called out three times to area west of Mitchell
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Ceres firefighters douse flames that blackened a vacant lot filled with dry grass northeast of Lucas Elementary School on Friday. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

A vacant area just south of Roeding Road and west of Mitchell Road became a repeat problem for Ceres firefighters last weekend with three separate fires.

According to Ceres Fire Department Battalion Chief Rich Scola, the first fire broke out at 11:55 a.m. Friday when a mowing contractor accidentally set the fire when his blade struck a rock and sparks ignited the dry grass. Scola said the fire blackened under two acres and damaged some wooden fence posts as well as damaged the contractor's tractor. Ceres firefighters quickly doused the blaze and prevented it from spreading to nearby homes and the Lucas Elementary School campus.

Ceres firefighters were back on the scene Saturday evening at dusk when grass caught fire on adjoining parcels. He did not know the cause.

Scola said a third fire broke out in the same area on Sunday with flames getting too uncomfortably close to the northern property line of Archcliffe Drive. Approximately 50 feet of the wood plank fence was damaged, "that's how close it got to those structures," said Scola.

"It looks like one big giant grass field but it's a couple of different parcels and property owners."

Scola said his department is seeing more vegetation fires.

"It's that time of year when the grass is very dry and it's very hot."

He advised the public to use extreme caution when mowing grass, suggesting that morning times are better because the humidity levels are higher.

Scola also advised the public to never discard a cigarette butt. They can ignite on the sides of the road where grass doesn't appear to be plentiful.