August 12, 2019 - 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.