Avoid these activities that could start wildfires

DENVER (KDVR) – The causes of several recent wildfires have been attributed to human impacts.

FOX31 spoke with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control about the causes of the wildfires.

Gone are the days when you could attribute a fire to someone throwing a cigarette out of their car window. In fact, since 1980, these fires have decreased by 90%, according to the US Forest Service.

“Cigarettes aren’t a big deal,” said Rocco Snart, a fire behavior expert with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

Still, Snart advises against throwing away your cigarette – there’s plenty of fuel around you to start a forest fire, especially when it’s windy.

“Grass-based fuels…they get a bad rap because there are so many of them out there right now,” Snart said.

Avoid these activities to help prevent wildfires

There’s a list of things you might already be doing to start a wildfire — “things that would be really helpful are people really delaying it for a few days,” Snart said.

Wait a few more days, Snart said, before doing the following:

  • “Agricultural burning, right now, at this time of year, is pretty critical for farmers to line up their fields and get them ready for the next planting,” Snart said. “I would strongly advise against any open burning tomorrow.”
  • “Avoid any activity where the wind might blow embers into the air and blow through dry grass,” Snart said. “We haven’t had enough rain for the grass to be green and less flammable.”
  • “Having campfires this weekend wouldn’t be the best option either,” Snart said.
  • “Towing a trailer and the chain comes loose which can create enough sparks, especially in some of these areas,” Snart said.
  • Tall grass is also a wildfire hazard. If you are driving, park in dry grass, even your hot brakes could produce embers that could be blown away.
  • Experts urge people to avoid any chores or activities involving fires or heated machinery near dry grass.

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