It’s always fire season in California, although it officially begins in May. Our warm and dry climate coupled with climate change has made California more susceptible to frequent wildfires. According to CAL FIRE, between January 1, 2017 and May 20, 2017 there have been a total of 921 fires in California.
Today we will focus on equipment safety. Operating equipment like lawn mowers, chainsaws and tractors improperly could ignite a wildfire. However, according to CALFIRE there are simple steps that you can take to prevent these types of fires.
(Image courtesy of http://pacificsun.com/home-garden-lawn-be-gone/)
Equipment Safety Tips:
· Mow during the cool time of day before 10 a.m. while there is still dew on the ground, not during the day and especially not when the wind is blowing.
· Remove rocks and metal from the year that could be hit by the mower and cause sparks.
· Use a weed eater with a plastic line when cutting dry grass not a lawn mower (use lawn mower on green grass only).
· Don’t top off fuel tanks.
· Make sure spark arrestors are in proper working order and there is no carbon build up.
· When transporting tractors, mowers, and recreational vehicles make sure that chains on the trailers are not hitting the pavement as you are driving.
· Take special care when using tractors in dry grass that can easily ignite.
· Last but not least, always have a least one of the following items with you: fire extinguisher, water supple or a shovel.
Wildfires have an effect on watersheds, reservoirs, and the quality of our drinking water.
By protecting our watersheds we are protecting our environment. Remember metal
blades hitting rocks can spark a fire!
For more information on wildfires go to: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Equipment-Use/