WSDOT asks drivers to do their part in preventing roadside fires

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Temperatures are heating up throughout the Inland Northwest this week, which means more room for fire danger potential. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has some safety reminders to prevent roadside fires this summer.

According to WSDOT, the state has seen an increase in roadside fires over the past several weeks. The organization is asking for the public’s help in preventing in small sparks that could ignite into a full-fledged blaze.

Here is how you can do your part:

  • Properly dispose cigarettes, fireworks or anything with a flame
    • Never toss them out of a vehicle window
  • Keep your vehicle off of dried grass
    • Pulling your vehicle into a field with dry grass can spark a fire from the heat of the undercarriage or wheel bearings
  • Make sure your vehicle and any trailers and equipment are in good working order before heading out
    • This reduces the chances of vehicle fires which can grow into larger fires
  • Carry extra water in your vehicle during the summer
    • Not only for hydration, but you might need it to help put out a fire

WSDOT said it typically has maintenance crews keeping areas near roadways mowed for fire season to reduce brush fire risks. Though, according to WSDOT, COVID-19 pandemic has affected that work, and now crews are trying to catch up.

According to WSDOT, this year in particular, it’s concerned about the number of people taking road trips in RVs and larger vehicles that they may not be used to. WSDOT said these vehicles often have safety chains, and it’s important that you make the chains do not drag on the pavement. This can cause sparks that can quickly explode into a fire. WSDOT said drivers should regularly check their vehicles to make sure everything is secure.

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