Tuesday, October 14, 2008 (AP)
Flaming squirrel blamed for small Calif. wildfire
10-14) 10:05 PDT Redding, CA (AP) --
With southern California fighting wind-driven flames and spot fires breaking out across northern California, firefighters have fingered at least one arsonist: an unlucky squirrel.
Redding firefighters say the squirrel set off the blaze when it shorted out a power line, caught fire and dropped into dry vegetation.
Battalion Chief Gerry Gray says it took 18 firefighters and six fire engines to fight the fire that started behind a Redding restaurant.
The fire briefly threatened a home before it was contained Monday.
Redding Electric Utility spokesman Pat Keener says about 200 customers might have noticed their electricity flicker when the squirrel shorted out the high-voltage power line. But the incident did not cause a power outage.
Information from: Record Searchlight, http://redding.com
The Alameda Daily Noose and I got wind of this disturbing escalation in Sciurine activities from not one, but two of our infallible sources. Lest we make our sources' vegetation patches targets for similar kamikaze attacks, we will not reveal their identities. Suffice it to say that one of them has a bit of a sweet tooth, judging from some of his song and album titles, and the other enjoys living in a place that is surrounded by greenery of the kind that is ideal for soccer games and other pleasant, tree-free recreation.
As usual, the Alameda Daily Noose and I were out in front of this story when we warned last year of the likely danger of exploding Squirrels in Alameda. Unfortunately, it seems that Alameda's "decision makers" were not paying attention. With flaming Squirrels now undoubtedly planning to strike within Alameda's borders, this is no time for our City Council to be limiting funds to our fire department. Instead, we should be beefing up our special Squirrel-extinguishing units, regardless of the expense. After all, what price freedom from flaming or, even worse, exploding Squirrels?