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Cedar Fire in Kern County - photo USFS

People Cause 95 Percent Of California Wildfires

SACRAMENTO – In the past two months, California has experienced a rash of large and damaging wildfires and in almost every single case, the fire was preventable.

It’s true — 95 percent of all wildfires are caused by the activity of people! Cal Fire is asking, especially with the holiday weekend, that all Californians do their part now to help prevent the next devastating wildfire. One Less Spark means One Less Wildfire.

“As we are in the middle of the fifth year of record drought, we need to make sure that everyone is vigilant in preventing wildfires,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, Cal Fire Chief of Public Education. “It starts with our Ready, Set, Go! Program that helps prepare residents for a wildfire, and carries over to the One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire Program that stresses how to prevent wildfires through proper care and maintenance of campfires, vehicles, and outdoor equipment.”

Outdoor Powered Equipment

  • One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire 300x250Use powered equipment before 10 a.m. when it is cooler.
  • Use the right equipment to cut dry grass. Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawn grass, not weeds.
  • When using heavy equipment such as tractors, backhoes or harvesters, use caution around rocks, as metal implements striking rocks can create a spark and start a fire.
  • Ensure chainsaws, weed eaters and other portable gasoline-powered equipment are in good working order, which includes having a spark arrestor.
  • When welding, make sure there is at least ten feet of clearance and a fire extinguisher or charged water hose ready to use, just in case of a fire.

Campfires

  • Campfire permits are required for all portable gas stoves and campfires; check to make sure there are no fire restrictions in the area first.
  • Always have water or a shovel nearby.
  • Never leave children unattended by a campfire.
  • Completely extinguish campfires using the “drown, stir, and feel” method
  • Drown the fire with water.
  • Stir the area with a shovel to wet any remaining embers and ash and mix in more dirt.
  • Lastly, feel the area with the back of your hand to make sure it’s cool.
  • If it is still hot repeat the “drown and stir” method until it is cool

Vehicles

  • Never drive over dry grass.
  • Vehicle maintenance is crucial in preventing wildfires.
  • Securing trailer chain so they don’t drag on the ground.
  • Ensure vehicle brakes and tire pressure are maintained to prevent sparking from metal to metal contact.

To learn more ways to prevent a wildfire visit ReadyForWildfire.org.

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