Prevent Grass Fires: Stopping the Sparks - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Prevent Grass Fires: Stopping the Sparks

Firefighters are asking people to be extra cautious to avoid a fire and fine caused by your vehicle and cigarette butts.

"You just got to be real careful with anything that produces heat," said Mike Davis, Battalion Chief with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

Any little spark or flame can create a fire. On Friday firefighters responded to fumes along Highway 287 and while it didn't take long to get it under control it could have been
much worse. Officials believe the culprit was a vehicle's exhaust. Newschannel 6 learned the driver of the vehicle could face criminal negligence charges if they can prove he should have known about the sparking coming from his truck.

"An exhaust can shoot out sparks if the motor is not running right," said Davis.

That's why firefighters are asking drivers to be on the lookout and be extra cautious when driving or parking on grass.

"I'm pretty cautious," said Justin Rushia. "There's a lot of fires that happened recently. This past summer too."

"If it's hot enough and the dead grass comes into contact with it you can set that grass to smoldering and a little breath of wind comes up and gives it a little more oxygen and it can start a grass fire," said Battalion Chief Davis.

That's not their only dilemma this summer. According to the Texas Department of Transportation discarded tobacco trash including cigarette butts are the result of nearly half of the state's litter. That single flick of an ash or throw of a butt could pose a big threat for firefighters.

Newschannel 6 looked along a median on Seymour Highway and in just a few minutes we found 22 cigarette butts and one cigarette box. Each one capable of producing flames and fines.

Littering fines can range upwards of $500. Newschannel 6 learned the driver of the vehicle could face criminal negligence charges if they can prove he should have known about the sparking coming from his truck

The department is accepting applications for firefighters. A written exam and physical test will take place Saturday July 14. Click here to learn more.

Click here for a complete guide on how to prevent fires and what to do to protect your home, family and pets.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.

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