- As California wildfires rage, is this the new normal?
- Deadly storms bring torrential rains, hail and tornadoes to large portions of the South
- Severe weather impacts the East Coast
- Two people killed after tornado outbreak hits south
- Today marks the end to an uneventful Atlantic hurricane season for Texas
Photo: Rodolfo Gonzalez, MBO
Image 1 22
Texas, the month of August, and wildfires don’t mix well.
And the fires have been happening often. Over the past week, Texas A&M Forest Service said that firefighters responded to six wildfires across the state of Texas which were the direct result of misusing outdoor equipment.
According to the organization’s website, equipment use remains a major cause of wildfires. Every year, individuals use chainsaws, weed eaters, lawn mowers, welders, grinders, bulldozers, farm harvesting equipment, off-road vehicles and other equipment around their property. Those machines can generate sparks, that, in turn, can start a fires.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid these potentially catastrophic pitfalls.
On HoustonChronicle.com: Upcoming 7-day weather forecast in Houston area
The Forest Service urges people who use equipment on or near dry grass and brush to take these wildfire prevention precautions:
• Check blades, bearings and belts prior to use to ensure good working order.
• Check brakes and tires for proper inflation and tire condition.
• Check fire conditions for possible fire danger before you operate equipment.
• Comply with any conditions or restrictions regarding equipment use in your area.
• Do not park cars, trucks or recreational vehicles on dry vegetation. The exhaust system on a vehicle can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a wildfire in the summer.
• Use an approved spark arrestor on all internal combustion powered equipment.
For more information, including the Texas A&M Forest Service’s contact numbers, click here.
Peter Dawson is a digital reporter in Houston. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | Peter.Dawson@chron.com | NEWS WHEN YOU NEED IT: Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message | Sign up for breaking news alerts