RIO VISTA - When a grass fire broke out among a community of cabins on a remote Delta island, multiple dispatchers were asking the same question:Whose jurisdiction is the island in, anyway?
"Yeah, there was a lot of confusion," Rio Vista Fire Department Capt. Scott Bahrenfuss said. "That specific island is right on the border of three different counties - Solano County, Sacramento County and Contra Costa County.All three dispatch centers were calling different agencies trying to pinpoint it."
Although the location was initially reported as Kimball Island, a closer examination of Delta maps shows the fire was actually burning across Cabin Slough from Kimball Island on what appears to be a portion of Sherman Island in Sacramento County.
The cabins, which once numbered 78, are privately owned on land leased from the state of California, according to cabin owner Bill Fraser, who is president of the owners' association.
They are not served by any roads, public utilities or-for that matter-any fire departments.
"It's kind of a no-man's land," Bahrenfuss said.
Although there was no obligation to respond, four local fire departments carried equipment across the Sacramento River from Antioch to fight the fire, while a Cal Fire helicopter dropped buckets of water.A Coast Guard vessel helped evacuate residents.
Bahrenfuss said a total of three cabins were damaged or destroyed along with a number of outbuildings.Fraser, whose cabin was not damaged, said it was doubtful the owners would be allowed to rebuild, which explains why the number of surviving cabins is now about two dozen.
Fraser, 82, has owned his cabin since the 1960s and said owners are drawn to the primitive conditions knowing there is no formal fire protection arrangement.
"You could do whatever you wanted out there,"Fraser said."The only thing you have to watch for is fire."
By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net