Urban Wildfire Prevention
It’s that time of year again. Fireworks, BBQs, fire pits—and warm, dry weather that increases the risk for grass fires. We’ve already seen our share of grass fires in North Metro Fire Rescue District, and almost all of them were preventable. Help keep your community safe from fire by remembering these tips this summer.
- Fireworks are illegal (and dangerous), so don’t use them – Every year, North Metro Fire responds to grass fires caused by fireworks, some which have threatened nearby homes. Fireworks are illegal, but that doesn’t stop kids from accessing them and playing with them in open areas. We are fortunate to have great fireworks shows put on professionally by every city in the area, so take advantage of these free shows and attend your city’s event. In some cities, sparklers are allowed. These still pose a risk for starting a fire. Be certain they are thoroughly extinguished in a glass or metal container filled with water and cool to the touch before disposing of them in the trash. Fireworks that aren’t properly extinguished can easily catch your trash on fire and spread to your home.
- Douse and continue to monitor your fire pits – When the temperatures are high, fires can easily rekindle in fire pits. This is one reason it’s important to keep your fire pit at least 10 feet away from your house or other materials that can burn. It’s also important to make sure you thoroughly extinguish your fire, use a screen to keep embers from dispersing, and check on your fire pit even hours after you’ve extinguished it.
- Let your charcoal chill – If you prefer grilling out with a charcoal grill, we understand. The extra flavor it adds to your burgers or meat is undeniable. However, hot charcoal is another source for starting a fire. Make sure your charcoal is cool to touch before disposing of it in a metal container.
- Bag up and recycle your yard waste instead of burning it – Burning yard waste is a huge hazard to both you and your neighbors. We’ve seen trees burned and fences and houses scorched by residents burning items in their yard. Don’t burn your trimmed branches or other yard waste. Instead, check out your city’s services regarding the disposal of branches, grass clippings and leaves. Most cities offer a way for you to get rid of your yard waste in a safe and environmentally healthy way.
- Don’t toss your butts – Cigarette butts tossed out the window is one of the most common causes of grass fires, especially those originating near major roadways. Please be respectful of your community, and do not throw your cigarette butts out your car window while driving.
North Metro Fire wants everyone to have a fun and safe summer, so help us keep fires away by practicing fire safety around the home.