Campaign to Stop Sparking Fires Begins

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EL DORADO HILLS —

A hub cap, chains, even an exhaust pipe. It is hard to believe but firefighters say those items are some of the leading causes of grass fires.

“Trailer chains–when they drag on the ground spark,” said public information officer Frank Mosbacher, El Dorado National Forrest.

“Most of the fires we respond to are human-caused weather accidental or negligence,” said Daniel Berlant, California Fire Department.

Now local and federal agencies are warning the public with a new campaign, “one less spark, one less fire.”

Authorities believe a hub cap or tire came off a towed vehicle igniting a fire that burned 160 acres near Kyburz last month.

“Whoever started that fire, it is still under investigation as they get into it. They may wind up paying for that fire,” said Mosbacher

“In the past five years or so we have recovered $90 million in tax payer dollars from fires that should have been prevented. We do have that responsibility to cover those costs and we take that responsibility seriously,” said Berlant.

With drier conditions this year firefighters say anything could ignite a fire.

In 2012, California Fire responded to 2,925 fires which burned 38,471 acres. In 2013, the number of acres nearly doubled to 71,060.

“It’s not worth it. Take those steps. Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained,” said Berlant.

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