Crew responds to burning links |

Crew responds to burning links

Using a chain saw to cut a wooden fence, firefighters drove across the fairway of hole No. 5 at Bijou Golf Course to extinguish a small grass fire reportedly caused by a discarded cigarette.

Units from South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service arrived at the scene shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to douse the area with water. The scene was cleared about an hour later.

SLTFD Capt. Steve Lang said the fire, about 15-by-15, was dangerous because it had a good chance of burning underneath the dry and brittle grass which provided temporary fuel for the fire.

Fires can exist for days underground and spark yards away from the origin.

Lang guessed somebody discarded a cigarette the night before, it was left smoldering and ignited by the sun’s rays.

King McCarthy from South Lake Tahoe was golfing on No. 5 with three friends while firefighters were busy saturating and shoveling the hot spot. McCarthy said numerous people walk near the area for a shortcut or to look for golf balls.

Preparing to tee off, he said he didn’t mind the crews.

“The wind is messing me up more,” he said.

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