Are You Doing The Right Thing, The Wrong Way?
Whether working to create 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, weed-eaters, 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.
Here’s how to do it the right way
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. Use caution.
In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline-powered equipment. This includes tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weed-eaters and mowers.
- 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 it off.
In wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit and 10 feet of clearance. Keep a shovel and a fire extinguisher ready to use.
- Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t even see – until it’s too late!
- Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of fire.
To protect water quality, do not clear vegetation near waterways to bare soil. Vegetation removal can cause soil erosion especially on steep slopes. Always keep soil disturbance to a minimum.