Farm and Ranch
Wildfires sparked by outdoor equipment can be prevented
By Texas A&M Forest Service
Sep 8, 2019
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San Angelo, Texas -- Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire departments remind people operating equipment outdoors to be aware of current conditions to help reduce wildfires.

Over the past week, Texas A&M Forest Service firefighters responded to six wildfires ignited by equipment use. 

Equipment use continues to be a major cause of wildfires. Each year, people using chainsaws, weed eaters, lawn mowers, welders, grinders, bulldozers, farm harvesting equipment, off-road vehicles and other equipment that generate sparks, start numerous fires.

People who use equipment on or near dry grass and brush are encouraged to take a few simple precautions to prevent wildfires:

  • Check blades, bearings and belts prior to use to ensure good working order.
  • Check brakes and tires for proper inflation and tire condition.
  • Check fire conditions for possible fire danger before you operate equipment.
  • Comply with any conditions or restrictions regarding equipment use in your area.
  • Do not park cars, trucks or recreational vehicles on dry vegetation. The exhaust system on a vehicle can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a wildfire in the summer.
  • Use an approved spark arrester on all internal combustion powered equipment.

For more information on current wildfire conditions, please visit the Texas Interagency Coordination Center website at https://ticc.tamu.edu.