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East County News Service

August 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) ---Many wildfires are caused by vehicles – including a dozen spot fires in Ramona last Friday caused by a loose towing chain on a motor home that ignited dry brush. Poorly maintained brakes, tires, or other vehicle components can also spark fires, as can vehicles coming into contact with dry grasses.

Here are some tips for preventing your vehicle from accidentally starting a fire:

  • Practice safe towing. A loose tow chain can cause sparks.  Use a hitch ball with appropriate safety pins to secure a chain when towing a vehicle.
  • Be sure your vehicle is properly maintained, with no parts dragging on the ground that could cause sparks.
  • Maintain proper tire pressure, since driving on exposed rims can start a fire. If you have a flat, stop and call for help.
  • Keep brakes in good condition. Worn brakes can cause metal on metal and ignite a fire.
  • Never drive over or park on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes or mufflers can easily start a blaze.
  • Carry a fire extinguisher and be sure you know how to use it if needed.

For more ways to prevent wildfires, visit

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