Useful Grass Fire Prevention Tips
- Don't throw cigarette or cigar butts on the ground or out of a vehicle. Dispose of them properly and make sure they are completely extinguished.
- Do not burn trash, leaves, or brush outdoors any time in the city; it is against city ordinances. During certain times of the year burn bans are implemented in the county.
- Keep a 30-foot safety zone surrounding the home clear of brush, especially for those living in a woodland area. Grass should be cut short in this area as well. For homes that sit on a steep slope, the safety zone should be increased accordingly.
- Stack firewood at least 15 feet from the home and uphill if possible.
- If conducting a controlled burn, have a water hose close by.
- Rake leaves, cut off dead tree limbs and twigs, and mow grass regularly. Cut tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground and remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
- Do not park cars, trucks, or recreational vehicles on dry grass or shrubs. Exhaust systems on vehicles can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a grass fire in the summer.
- Maintain equipment in good working order. Any equipment that will be near grass, such as mowers or tractors, and is not in good working order can overheat or spark. Overheating or sparking can cause a grass fire.
- Use an approved spark arrester on all internal combustion engine power equipment. This special muffler helps ensure that sparks generated by off-road vehicles, chainsaws, and other equipment don't start wildfires.
- Parents should emphasize to their children the dangers of playing with fire. Children who have no idea how quickly flames can grow and spread often start many grass fires.
- Homeowners who barbecue should maintain a 10-foot area free of brush and shrubbery around grills and propane tanks. Non-flammable screens should be placed over the grill, with mesh no larger than three fourths of an inch thick. Never leave a grill unattended.
- Keep a shovel, bucket of water, fire extinguisher, or other fire suppression tools on hand any time while burning outside.
For more information, contact the Fire Department at 830-249-3644.