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As weather warms, you can help prevent wildfires along highways

Tips include: Don’t drag chains while towing or park in tall grass
April 19, 2017

PHOENIX – Like a lot of Arizona these days, the hillsides along State Route 87 south of Payson look mighty green after a wet winter. But that didn’t stop a brush fire from breaking out last week after a vehicle dragging chains threw sparks off the roadway, backing up traffic as first responders addressed the blaze.

SR 87 brush fireWhen warmer temperatures turn all that ground cover brown, there will be even more reason for precautions to prevent brush fires along highways.

“Everyone can help prevent fires,” said Jesse Gutierrez, the Arizona Department of Transportation’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.”

During the winter and spring, ADOT crews mow vegetation along highway shoulders. Crews also remove brush, thin trees and spray fire retardant within the ADOT right-of-way to prevent fires and slow the spread of those that occur. But motorists have an important role as well:

  • Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.
  • Make sure nothing is hanging from underneath your vehicle and dragging on the pavement.
  • Dragging chains during towing can cause sparks. Never substitute parts when towing.
  • Check tire pressure before you travel. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.

ADOT participates in the “One Less Spark One Less Wildfire” campaign that the U.S. Forest Service and other land management agencies launched to focus on the role drivers and homeowners play in preventing wildfires.

The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps citizens to resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil RightsTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.