STATEHOUSE—State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) encourages residents to utilize good fire safety practices during the severe drought affecting Indiana. In response to severe dry conditions, Allen County has entered into a state of emergency and is now under a burn ban.
“A severe drought makes fires easily ignitable and very hard to control once they start,” said Rep. Morris. “I encourage residents to learn about fire safety tips and exercise extra precaution in the days and weeks ahead.”
To reduce the chances of a fire during this dry season, follow these tips:
• Do not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles; use ashtrays. Lit cigarettes do cause fires and can be disastrous in times of drought.
• When pulling off the side of the road, stay off of dry grass areas. Park vehicles so that the exhaust does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves or weeds.
• Adjust the safety chains on trailers to ensure they don’t drag and create sparks that can cause roadside fires.
• Avoid cooking outdoors during this drought season. Never leave barbeque grills unattended. Place your grill on concrete or your driveway away from your home or any structures.
• Check lawnmowers and farm equipment for properly working spark arresters.
• Cut back or remove any dry and dead landscaping plants or bushes around your home. Clear leaves from your roof and gutters; rake them away from the sides of your home.
• Move anything that will burn far away from structures, items like firewood, compost piles, brush piles, etc.
Statistics show that more than 90 percent of wildfires are started as a result of careless acts of people.
“Fire safety is always important, but especially with current weather conditions,” said Rep. Morris. “Everyone must be extra cautious and aware of simple things that can potentially cause dangerous fires to ignite.”