Because of a very dry January through May period, with much lower than normal rainfall and snow packs, the wildfire protection agencies in California are experiencing a more severe wildfire season than normal.
In recognition of that threat, and in an attempt to minimize the number of accidental wildfire starts, a public wildfire education campaign has been developed. The “One Less Spark—One Less Wildfire” campaign’s goal is to educate Californians about how to prevent wildfires inadvertently caused by sparks from vehicles and equipment use.
Recent wildfire statistics show that the most likely source of wildland fires is mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, grinders, welders, cutters, tractors, and vehicles. This new public education campaign is aimed at the users of these devises, and provides them with tips for their fire-safe use.
• Maintain Vehicle Brakes: never let brake pads wear thin and become metal on metal.
• Careless Parking: never park vehicles too closely to or on dry grass.
• Tow Safely: dragging tow chains throws sparks. Use only appropriate towing equipment.
• Check Tire Pressure: driving on an exposed wheel rim after a blowout can throw sparks.
• Chainsaw Spark: ensure chainsaws and other equipment have approved spark arrestors.
• Cutting, Welding and Grinding: use this equipment with a minimum of 15 feet of clearance.
• Use the Right Equipment: use string vegetation trimmers to cut tall, dry grass.
• Remove Rocks: metal mower blades hitting rocks start wildfires.
• Be Ready: have water and a fire extinguisher readily available.
• Report All Fires: report the location, what is burning, how fast the fire is moving, what is in danger, and stay on the phone.
Ninety four percent of wildfires are human-caused. Each citizen has the responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires and to protect their own property by creating a defensible space around their homes.