Firefighters warn of variety of ways to start fires
Sparks, heat from common machinery pose risks
Lighted cigarette butts and unattended campfires are two common causes of wildfires. But firefighters alert us to other causes we may be less aware of.
The Black Forest Fire Department points out several dangerous scenarios:
Many homeowners will use chainsaws to cut down burned trees. If used improperly, the chain and blade can create sparks if they hit rocks or other hard items. The sparks can create fires if they happen close to dry or flammable materials. Lawnmowers pose a similar risk.
Those same machines also generate heat, and such heat can ignite a fire if it's too close to dry grass, brush or mulch.
Firefighters say it's important to remember these risks because the fire danger remains extreme. They say in Black Forest, the danger is worse now than it was during the fire two weeks ago.
"The remaining trees here are already dried out with the super-heated gases that came through from the fire," said fireman David Schlingmann. "Now they're at the highest potential to catch fire (again)."
Firefighters also ask that you be careful about where you park your vehicle, especially in rural areas. Mufflers, catalytic converters and other hot parts underneath can easily ignite dry grasses that are too high.
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