TMFPD urges caution during dry and hot weather conditions

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WASHOE COUNTY, NV (KOLO) - The rising temperatures and dry heat are the perfect conditions for wildfires. The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) said it’s responding on average to a brush fire a day. According to TMFPD Public Information Officer Adam Mayberry people need to be cautious during this kind of weather.

“Strongly encourage people to be prepared, to bring things like a fire extinguisher, a gallon or two of water, hand tools in any event that they do start a fire,” said Mayberry.

According to Mayberry 90% of wildfires are started by humans. He said, “Be mindful that some activities, like pile burning, fireworks, campfires, and bonfires, are illegal.”

However, some outdoor activities during this time of year can still start a spark. He said, “Such as target shooting, such as using tools to grind metals, or other landscaping activities. So be mindful of what you are doing.”

Now is the time to remove dry and dead vegetation and create defensible space around your property. He said, “If you’re in a position, clear at least 30 feet around your property.”

Washoe County Resident Patty Campitelli said she is cautious during these dangerous fire conditions.

She said, “We make sure if we have our trailer. We make sure we have no chains that are hanging down to drag so no sparks.”

Campitelli added, “And then also if we get more cheat grass that is growing in the back area we just make sure we try to get rid of the cheat grass, that stuff is like a match to a flame you know, if it lights up, everything lights up.”

We can't control lightning or mother nature, but officials said without your help this could be a very dangerous fire season.

TMFPD Summertime Fire Safety Tips:
• Target shooters are encouraged to use a firing range such as Washoe County’s Regional Shooting Facility.
• Never throw cigarettes or smoking material from a moving vehicle. Extinguish cigarettes in proper designated receptacles, or cup of water.
• Open (pile) burning is strictly prohibited in Washoe County. This includes barrel burning, campfires, and bonfires.
• Don’t park a hot car or other machinery in dry grass.
• Don’t allow gasoline or motor oil to spill on grass or other vegetation.
• Tractors, off-road vehicles and equipment being used in wooded areas, such as chainsaws, should have spark arrestors.
• Secure trailer chains and keep them off the ground. Dragging chains can create sparks and trigger a fire.
• Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children, and never leave young children alone with an open flame.
• Fire pits are legal in Washoe County as long as the pit is covered with a screen or mesh. They should be at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible material.
- Residents should clear all combustibles, have sufficient water available at all times for extinguishment, and always make sure that the fire is completely out prior to leaving it unattended.
- Truckee Meadows Fire encourages residents to let their neighbors know they have an outdoor fireplace at their residence, so that the neighbors are less likely to call in to report a fire to dispatch.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019