The “One Less Spark—One Less Wildfire” campaign is designed to provide constant reminders during this fire season to reduce the number of vehicle and equipment caused fires throughout our community and across the state. Approximately 95% of all wildfires in California are caused by human activity. That is why fire agencies need the public’s help to prevent them. Whether it’s ensuring a campfire or discarded fireplace ashes are completely extinguished, or keeping a vehicle well maintained to prevent sparks, following the few simple steps below can help prevent wildfires.
- Mow before 10 a.m., but never when it’s windy or excessively dry.
- Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass.
- Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires.
- Spark arresters are needed on all portable gasoline-powered equipment including tractors, chainsaws, weed eaters, and mowers. This device will help prevent the emission of flammable debris from combustion sources and create an unwanted fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, a shovel, and a cellphone nearby to be able to act quickly if a spark causes a fire.
- Create a maintenance schedule for all equipment to ensure that it is working properly and to prevent carbon from building up.
Practicing Vehicle Safety
Motorists are responsible for many of the wildfires sparked along roadways. Nearly all these fire starts could be prevented by following these safety measures:
- Practice safe towing by ensuring your chains is not dragging. Ensure the chain is safely secured using safety pins and the hitch ball to avoid a spark.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and nothing is dragging on the ground.
- Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you may not see until it’s too late.
- Carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle and learn how to use it.
- Maintain proper tire pressure. Driving on exposed wheel rims will throw sparks.
It is essential to adopt responsible practices when using lawn mowers and other equipment to minimize the risk of starting a fire. Regular equipment maintenance, mowing during optimal conditions, proper yard waste disposal, safe fuel handling, and being prepared for emergencies can all contribute to reducing the risk of wildfires. Visit SRCity.org/WildfireReady to learn more on how to prepare.