ADOT's tips to prevent wildfires along highways as weather warms

Posted: Updated:
(Source: ADOT) (Source: ADOT)
(Source: ADOT) (Source: ADOT)

State Route 87 in Payson, Arizona may look green now, but that doesn’t mean warming temperatures are not a danger to the area. Brush fires are a large threat to the foliage that borders the roadways, especially when temperatures climb to record-breaking heights.

Just last week a brush fire broke out in the area, due to a vehicle that was dragging chains and caused sparks to fly off the roadway and into the grass. Traffic was backed up as first responders worked the fire.

But the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) said there are tips and precautions anyone can take to prevent such fires along the hillsides.

"Everyone can help prevent fires," said Jesse Gutierrez, ADOT's deputy state engineer for statewide operations. "That starts with making sure your tires are properly inflated, being careful not to park over tall grasses and ensuring that chains aren't dragging."

ADOT does what it can to prevent these fires during the winter and spring months: mowing vegetation, removing brush, thinning trees and spraying fire retardant along the roadways. But ADOT says drivers also have to do their part to ensure that these fires don’t keep happening.

To keep drivers informed, ADOT gives motorists a list of do’s and do not’s when it comes to preventing fires:

  1. Don’t park in tall grass as the heat from certain parts of the vehicle can start a fire
  2. Make sure nothing is hanging underneath the vehicle and dragging on the pavement
  3. Dragging chains can cause sparks
  4. Never substitute parts when towing
  5. Check tire pressure before traveling, exposed wheel rims can cause sparks

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