The grass fire started just after 2 p.m. Friday in the Cameron Park Estates neighborhood. The 4-acre vegetation fire was feet away from several homes. Officials believe the fire started from a tractor, but the cause is still under investigation. Fire officials said the man who was operating the tractor was injured. He was taken to a local hospital with minor burn wounds but is expected to be okay. With the help of some neighbors, firefighters were able to put out the flames and save the threatened homes.
As the fire was still being mopped up, a fawn found himself in the middle of all the danger. The 4-week-old deer got trapped inside an empty pool as it was trying to run to safety.
“They had gotten it out and it ran right into the black area where it was still a little burn. It was pretty hot,” El Dorado Hills firefighter Luke Bohanan said. “[It] made its way through some fencing and got stuck in the wire fencing.”
The firefighter was able to pull the fawn to safety.
“It was pretty weak, so we started to douse it with water and it started to come back to life,” Bohanan said.
The fawn had some burn injuries. The Sierra Wildlife Rescue came to pick up the deer and get it checked out.
“If we are able to rehab, then we’ll take him to our facilities and we’ll take care of him until he’s about 4 months old,” said Panadda Cook with the rescue group.
If recovery goes well, the fawn could then be released back into the wild.
The fawn rescued in Friday’s grass fire is continuing his recovery.
The 2-week-old baby deer was under the care of the Sierra Wild Life Rescue – a rehab center that takes in wildlife displaced from its natural habitat.
He had been aptly named ‘Smokey’ after having escaped a grass fire.
It was Friday afternoon when Smokey was caught in the middle of a vegetation fire in Cameron Park. Smokey tried getting away from the flames when it got stuck in a fence. An El Dorado Hills firefighter was there to pull the fawn to safety.
“I ran up after it and grabbed it and pulled it down,” said fireman Luke Bohanan on Friday. “It was pretty weak, so we started to douse it with water and it started to come back to life.”
And while Smokey was no longer in danger, he did sustain smoke inhalation and a swollen foot that may have resulted from stepping on a hot ember. Smokey was being fed and given medication for his injuries so he can be released back into the wild.
“If he were to recover exceptionally quickly, in the next couple of days, there’s the possibility of taking him back where he was found and reuniting him with his mom,” said Dave Cook with Sierra Wildlife Rescue. But if recovery takes longer, Smokey will be in rehab until he’s strong enough to survive on his own.
Situations like this are not uncommon in the foothills. During the warm summer months, many wild life get displaced due to wildfire activity.
“The habitat that’s been burned, that’s their food, their cover, so basically, they have nothing to eat and nowhere to hide,” said Cook.
If they are to survive, they have to leave the fire burn area. The saving grace for Smokey was that he was caught just in time.
…CONTINUED from News10