With fires burning close to the Mountain Area, Cal Fire offers a good reminder to residents, especially given the amount of tall grasses and new vegetation growth, which has created an increased fire hazard.
Some tips on helping reduce the chances of starting a fire when operating motorized equipment are:
☆ Do all yard maintenance that requires a gas or electrical motor before 10 a.m., not in the heat of the day, or when the wind is blowing.
☆ Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns. Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation. Use a weed trimmer to cut down dry weeds and tall grass.
☆ Remove rocks in the area before you begin operating any equipment. A rock hidden in grass or weeds is enough to start a fire when struck by a metal blade.
☆ In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline powered equipment including tractors, harvesters, chain saws, weed eaters, mowers, motorcycles, and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).
☆ Keep the exhaust system, spark arresters and mower in proper working order and free of carbon buildup. Use the recommended grade of fuel and don’t top off. Do not refuel when the motor is hot.
☆ Keep the engine free of oil and dust, and keep the mower free of flammable materials.
☆ In wildland areas, a permit may be required for grinding and welding operations, and spark shields may be required on equipment. Be sure to have 10 feet of clearance, a 46 inch round point shovel, and a water source readily available.
☆ Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires you won’t even see, until it’s too late. Don’t pull off into dry grass or brush.
☆ Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of a fire.