Are you doing the right thing the wrong way; for example, trying to eliminate the fire hazards around your home and in the process starting a wildland fire?
Each year Cal Fire responds to more than 1,600 fires started by Californians using equipment the wrong way.
Whether working to create a defensible space around your home, just mowing the lawn, or pulling your dirt bike over to the side of the road, if you live in a wildland area you need to use all equipment responsibly.
Lawn mowers, weedeaters, chain saws, grinders, welders, tractors, and trimmers can all spark a wildland fire. Do your part, the right way, to keep your community fire safe.
The right way:
* 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 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, weedeaters, 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.
* 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”round point shovel, and a backpump water-type fire extinguisher ready to use.
* 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.
- Cal Fire