MARIPOSA COUNTY – Cal Fire has determined that the Fox Fire, that burned 25 acres on Sunday, June 7, and prompted the evacuation of 28 homes in the Ben Hur Road area south of Mariposa, was caused by someone laying a weed eater in the dry vegetation just after weedeating.
The heat from the weed eater ignited the dry vegetation and the fire spread quickly, threatening homes and residents.
“We are starting to see more fires caused by vehicles and equipment use,” says Cal Fire Prevention Specialist Karen Guillemin-Kanawyer.
“Improper maintenance of vehicles, driving in dry vegetation, exhaust and tow chains sparking will cause a fire, and we urge everyone to please stop and take the few minutes to prepare before traveling.”
Some 99 percent of all fires in Madera, Mariposa and Merced Counties are human caused. That means you can prevent 99 percent of all fires.
Residents are reminded to clean and properly maintain their lawn mower, weed trimmer, chain saw and/or tractor before you use it outdoors.
Also, remember that lawn mowers were never built to mow dry grass, weeds or vegetation. Use a weed trimmer, field or brush mower to complete the job, and never set a weed eater down on anything combustible. Spark arrestors are required on all internal combustion engines in California.
Another danger is metal blades striking rocks. This can create sparks and start fires in dry vegetation, so always use with caution.
Be sure to mow before 10 a.m., but never when it’s windy or excessively dry.
Don’t be the next spark….One less spark…One Less wildfire.
To make sure you are prepared for the fire season, visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org