A grass fire in western Placer County quickly burned through 120 acres to the east of Brewer Road, behaving more like a fire in August than in the middle of January.
"To see over a 100 acres burn in the Sacramento area in January is really unheard of," Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said.
No structures were lost, but flames devoured a riparian area filled with birds and tules, leaving burned stalks and the skeletons of small trees.
"In fact, the grass, the brush in our area is as dry as we would typically see in August," Berlant said.
According to firefighters, the cause was believed to be a PG&E vehicle that apparently caught fire as a worker was patrolling power lines that pass over the area. Its skeleton could be seen below an electrical tower, the remnants of its tires still smoking.
"We're fortunate that this fire burned in a grass field with not a lot of structures around it so crews were able to do a good jobof jumping on it quickly, keeping it away from homes and any of the structures around here," Berlant explained.
No firefighters were injured fighting the blaze, but one truck got stuck in a bog and had to be pulled out by a Cal Fire bulldozer.
Berlant said the dry conditions with no rain in sight could be a sign of things to come.
"Last year was a very dry year and we saw an unprecedented number of fires," Berlant said. "This year we are even drier. So the likelihood of seeing more fires and fires of high magnitude like the Rim Fire in Yosemite, like the Angora Fire in Lake Tahoe are very likely."
Last year at this time, Cal Fire had responded to 50 fires. This year the agency has already had to put out 300 fires.