Fire burns dangerously close to Bethel Church

REDDING, Calif. - Redding firefighters battled thick underbrush to stop the spread of a vegetation fire that ultimately led to every city resource being called to the scene.

Crews were dispatched around 10:30 a.m. to Bethel Church at 933 College View Drive, after reports of a loud pop and fire behind the building.

At one point, a caller told 911 the fire was within 200 yards of the church, and the building was being evacuated.

Battalion Chief Steve Reilly, the incident commander, would eventually call a second alarm on the incident, bringing in all available engines, as well as off-duty personnel to cover the city's stations.

The fire was never moving particularly quickly, however thick underbrush made extinguishing the fire a lengthy process.

No one was hurt.

Investigators believe a squirrel that was on electrical lines may have been what started the fire, when its already-burning carcass fell on the dry grass, igniting it.

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