Take steps to reduce the chance of fires breaking out along highways

Take steps to reduce the chance of fires breaking out along highways

May 17, 2017

Smoking and burnt ground

By Caroline Carpenter / ADOT Communications

The risk for brush fires and wildfires increases with temperatures. With that in mind, we're repeating a message shared a month ago in a news release: Motorists can inadvertently start fires through a lack of attention, as was the case with the brush fire shown above along SR 87 south of Payson.

Here are several ways drivers can minimize the risk of fires along Arizona roads.

  • Avoid parking your vehicle on dry grass or driving through tall grass because heat under your vehicle can start a fire.
  • Never throw a cigarette out a vehicle.
  • Make sure trailer safety chains are securely attached. Loose chains can drag on the pavement, shooting sparks off the road. That's what happened with the SR 87 fire shown above.
  • Check tire pressure before you travel. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks on the asphalt.
  • Always use a spark arrestor in internal combustion engines.

Also, pay attention to “Red Flag” warnings, which the National Weather Service issues when humidity is low and winds are high.

When you head out on a road trip, don’t forget your emergency travel kit and to visit for the latest road conditions. For more on wildfires, visit, the state’s online source for real-time emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information.

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