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In a staff briefing this morning with NFPA’s Regional Firewise Advisors, Michele Steinberg shared with the group a great piece she’d recently received from the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, CA called, “Are you doing the right thing – the wrong way?” A part of California’s One Less Spark - One Less Wildfire campaign.
Here’s that piece Michele shared with us - pass it on!
<span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 11pt;">Getting rid of the hazards around your home is a good idea - but you need to do it properly or you could accidentally start a wildland fire.</span>
Each year fire departments respond to thousands of fires started by people using equipment the wrong way. Whether working to create defensible space around your home, just mowing dry grass, 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. Lawnmowers, weedeaters, chainsaws, grinders, welders, tractors and trimmers can all spark a wildland fire. Do your part, the right way, to keep your community fire safe.
- Mow before 10 a.m. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot to mow. REMEMBER, DON’T MOW DURING THE HEAT OF THE DAY OR WHEN THE WIND IS BLOWING!
- Beware - Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns, not dry grass, weeds or rocks! A grass-hidden rock is enough to start a fire when struck by a metal blade. Remove rocks from the area before you begin mowing.
- In California's wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline powered equipment. This includes tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weed whackers 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 California's wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit plus 10 feet of clearance, a 46-inch round point shovel, and a backpack water-type fire extinguisher – all ready to use.
- Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires you won’t even see-until it’s too late! Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush.
- Keep a cell phone nearby and call 911 immediately in case of a fire.
(C) 2005 Fire Safe Council