As 2014 heads into ever-increasing hot-and-dry territory, a public program by County Fire wants to raise awareness of some less-than-expected culprits that can be fire starters. Among the frequently used items that can cause an inadvertent fire — and which the “One Less Spark — One Less Wildfire” campaign advises remedying beforehand — are brake pads worn down to the metal, tow chains dragging on the road, and wheel rims striking the ground from poor inflation or a tire blowout. The use of more obvious sparkers like welding and grinding equipment warrant having water and a fire extinguisher on hand in these drought times, as do cutters and chainsaws.
Fires of historic proportions have infamously begun by such things as a kite on an electrical wire (Sycamore Fire, 1977), a car’s hot catalytic converter on dry grass by the side of the road (Coyote Fire, 1964), and the recent metal weed-whacker blade striking a rock (Jesusita Fire, 2009).
County Fire states, if you see a fire, call 9-1-1, report the location, how fast it’s moving, and what is burning, and stay on the phone with dispatchers in case firefighters need more information.