How you can do your part to prevent a human-caused wildfire

Reducing human-caused wildfires in Arizona
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:46 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Fire prevention officials from across the country are in southern Arizona to make sure you’re doing your part to prevent wildfires.

With triple digits in the forecast and extremely dry conditions across the region, fire officials say just one spark can lead to major damage.

Brad Bramlett, Fire Prevention Team member said 50% of fires in Arizona are human-caused, and said the community needs to ensure they aren’t creating sparks that could ignite fire fuels.

“Many people when they think about fuel, they think about gasoline. Something they would put in their vehicle. In the wildfire community, we think of fuels as anything flammable. Things you see every day driving down the road,” Bramlett said. “Even homes are fuel, something that will burn, so what we want to do is reduce the chances of any kind of spark that would get into those fuels, cause a fire then create a wildfire.”

Arizona is currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, which means the following on federal and state lands:

  • Campfires or charcoal grills are prohibited.
  • You can’t smoke unless you’re inside or in your car.
  • If you do smoke in your car, don’t throw cigarette butts out the window.
  • Don’t park or drive over tall grass or anything that can act as a fuel for a fire.
  • Shooting ranges and fireworks are off-limits too.

In Arizona, if you start a wildfire because you weren’t following those rules, you could face criminal charges and thousands of dollars in fines. The bill goes way up if the fire you caused destroys any buildings.

Bramlett said besides restrictions on state and federal land, you also want to make sure you’re keeping your property “fire-wise.”

“Clear out your gutters or remove dry brush from your property,” Bramlett said. “Make sure chains behind your vehicle aren’t dragging. Use a zip-tie to tie them up.”

For more ways to protect your property and community click here.

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