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Cal Fire lists numerous summer safety tips to prevent fires

The Madera -Mariposa- Merced Unit (MMU) of Cal Fire asked the public to take a smarter approach to fire prevention. Instead of accepting the devastation a fire can cause, stop one before it starts. Year after year California homes, citizens and communities are threatened and destroyed by wildfire.

California has one of the most severe wildfire problems in the world due to the climate, topography, vegetation and population, the agency said in a news release.

Whether working to create a defensible space around your home, mowing the lawn, pulling your vehicle over to the side of the road, welding or grinding, you need to use all equipment responsibly, the release said

Lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, grinders, welders, tractors, and trimmers can all spark a fire.

More tips from Cal Fire:

*DO YOUR CLEARANCE BEFORE 10 a.m. (Never in the heat of the day or when the wind is blowing- before it is too hot and too dry)

*ALWAYS KEEP A WATER SOURCE AND SHOVEL NEAR YOUR PROJECT.

*NEVER USE A LAWN MOVER IN DRY VEGETATION (Lawn mowers are designed to mow green lawns)

*USE A WEED TRIMMER TO CUT DOWN DRY WEEDS

*REMOVE ROCKS IN THE AREA BEFORE YOU BEGIN OPERATING ANY EQUIPMENT. (A grass or weed hidden rock or barbed wire is enough to start a fire when struck by a metal blade)

*IN WILDLAND AREAS, SPARK ARRESTERS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL PORTABLE GASOLINE POWERED EQUIPMENT. (TRACTORS, HARVESTERS, CHAINSAWS, WEEDEATERS, AND MOWERS)

*KEEP THE EXHAUST SYSTEM, SPARK ARRESTERS AND MOWER IN PROPER WORKING ORDER AND FREE OF CARBON BUILD UP.

(Properly maintain and clean your equipment BEFORE you use it. - Dry grass builds up on your equipment in or near the hot exhaust/muffler/or around the blades can and will cause wildfire.)

*KEEP THE ENGINE FREE OF OIL AND DUST, AND KEEP THE MOWER FREE OF FLAMMABLE MATERIALS. CLEAN THE UNDERSIDE OF YOUR MOWER.

*IN CERTAIN AREAS A PERMIT MAY BE REQUIRED FOR GRINDING AND WELDING OPERATIONS. BE SURE TO HAVE A MINIMUM OF 10 FEET OF CLEARANCE, A 46” ROUND POINT SHOVEL, AND A BACKPUMP WATER-TYPE FIRE EXTINGUISHER READY TO USE

*HOT EXHAUST PIPES AND MUFFLERS CAN START FIRES YOU WON’T EVEN SEE – UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE! DON’T PULL OFF THE ROAD INTO DRY GRASS OR BRUSH!

*KEEP A CELL PHONE NEARBY AND CALL 9-1-1 IMMEIATELY IN CASE A FIRE STARTS.

Additional information may be obtained at your local fire station; by calling your nearest Cal Fire station or on the website at www.fire.ca.go or readyforwildfire.org

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