Firefighters Struggle to Fight Fire Near Tracks

A huge plume of black smoke rose from below i-80 near Arden Way Thursday afternoon, stopping passing firefighters.

A FOX40 crew was along Arden Way when they saw the smoke rising from an area north of the highway, near a homeless camp and train tracks.

See images of the fire by clicking here.

“I was just riding by and I saw this huge fire, it was amazing. It was the biggest fire I’ve ever seen,” Patrick Bankert told FOX40.

The smoke also caught the attention of Sacramento City firefighters who were en route to another, smaller fire.

Firefighters told FOX40 they had trouble initially getting to the flames.

“We tried to make access off Silica and Harvard and that’s blocked off at that end, and you can see over there that there’s a gate that leads to the Union Pacific Railroad property here, but it’s blocked, so we couldn’t get in. But, the fence finally burned down,” said Battalion Chief Ed Bassett, with Sacramento City Fire Department.

The flames were spreading quickly to stacks of wooden pallets and tires. Although the winds were strong Thursday afternoon, firefighters say it worked in their favor.

“Winds are always a hazard for us, but in this particular case, the winds helped us. It pushed the smoke away from us and actually pushed the body of the flames into some rocks,” said Bassett.

Fire investigators believe someone from the homeless camp may have sparked the fire, but they are still looking into the exact cause.