With heat warnings in place throughout Idaho, widespread drought, and fire danger increasing, we can all do our part to help prevent human-caused wildfires. It only takes one spark from your vehicle to start a fire. Let’s work together to take the necessary precautions when traveling along Idaho highways this summer.
The next time you are going to hit the road, keep the following fire safety tips in mind:
- Double check your trailer chains! Be sure they are not hanging low and dragging from your vehicle. The metal can throw sparks easily.
- Take caution driving through dry grass or brush, and find a safer place to park! Hot exhaust pipes and heat from your vehicle can quickly catch the tall, dry grass on fire.
- Watch your tire pressure. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
- Keep brake pads in shape. If they wear too thin, the metal on metal can make sparks.
- Stay up to date on your vehicle maintenance. Leaking fluids and overheating engines can be dangerous fire hazards.
- Idaho is too great to litter. Never throw cigarettes out the window.
The Idaho Transportation Department takes precautions of its own to help prevent wildfires from starting near highways. For more than 10 years, ITD and the Bureau of Land Management have partnered each spring to conduct controlled burns along highways, targeting tumbleweed early before the dry fire season sets in. When the weather heats up, it doesn’t take much for this high risk fuel to take off. Mowing and controlled burns can significantly reduce fire threat by keeping fuels to a minimum.
ITD blocks the road and manages traffic to protect BLM firefighters during the burn. Water crews protect infrastructure and keep the fire under control. Watch the video to see it all in action!
Check with the Idaho Department of Lands, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management for the latest on fire danger in your area. Before you take your next road trip, be prepared and know what current fire restrictions are in place where you are headed. Learn more fire safety tips and find contact information at idahofireinfo.com. Current highway closures and blockages due to wildfire can also be found on 511.idaho.gov.