North Bay Firestorm: Eldorado Hotshots ‘trick’ Atlas Fire from destroying more homes


FAIRFIELD (KRON) — Scores of firefighters have been working around the clock as the first flames kicked up Sunday night.

Overnight, teams were out, putting in backfires to try and save as many homes as possible. On Wednesday, KRON4 connected with one team as they looked to work on a strategy to save even more homes.

Firefighters were anxiously waiting to see what the fire does next in the area. The Atlas fire pushed into the valley overnight. Strategically, a group of hotshots went in and set backfires.

So far, it seems to be working as many homes were saved, but new threats are on the horizon.

Flames tore through a hillside, just above a home on Suisun Valley Road in Fairfield. But snake-like flames were a defensive tactic.

The Eldorado Hotshots, a specialty team of highly-skilled firefighters, set blazes to trick the Atlas Fire.

The technique is officially called a backfire.

Basically, by setting backfires, it prevents big blazes from racing down a hill and destroying everything in its site–like homes.

KRON4 connected with Mike Carter and his partner Ryan Means, as they checked out the homes saved by the backfires.

They were also looking at spots where they could bring in bulldozers to help create more defensible space.

Carter says the work in this area has been beyond challenging.



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