By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

One less spark – one less wildfire!

“While weather is driving the severity of California’s wildfires, new research shows that people ignite a lot more fires than nature does,” reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

1n 2015, people driving vehicles caused nearly 1,300 wildfires. A recent example is the Carr Fire which was reportedly caused when a trailer tire went flat and its rim scraped the asphalt, creating sparks. So far this fire has burned 227,000 acres, has destroyed 1,079 residences, damaged 190, destroyed 22 commercial buildings, damaged 26, 503 out buildings and also killed 3 firefighters.


The Carr Fire, which is almost one month old, has demonstrated the dangers of a fire tornado—it had a base the size of three football fields, winds up to 165 miles an hour and temperatures of at least 2,700 degrees — nearly double the temperature of a typical wildfire.

Here’s what not to do when driving during this dangerous fire season:

Do not drive or park on grass. Hot components under the car ignite grass and fuels.

Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained by your certified mechanic with nothing dragging on the ground creating parks. Hot components under the car break loose and land in roadside vegetation creating fire.

Check your tire pressure. If you hit a bump in the road, the wheel compresses and the rim hitting the ground creates ignitable sparks.

Maintain your brakes. Brakes worn too thing cause metal to metal contact which causes sparks. Maintain your vehicles spark arrestors.

Carry a fire extinguisher in your car.

Remember, one less spark – one less wildfire!