Yard work tips you probably haven't heard that can help prevent wildfires

KUSA - With summer bringing hot temperatures and dry conditions, fire danger is high this time of year. 

Something as small as a spark flying off a rock while mowing the grass could cause one of those fires, according to Colorado Fire Prevention and Control.

Knowing the dos and don'ts of yard work in the summer could prevent a wildfire.

RELATED: Homeowner says mower sparked wildfire near Fort Collins

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Steve Ellis, a fire management officer for Colorado Fire Prevention and Control, shared some tips for preventing wildfires right in your backyard.

The best time to mow your lawn during the summer: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"If you do it between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the day, that's usually when our winds of Colorado come up no matter where you're at," Ellis said. "Winds usually haven't started blowing early in the morning and then have died down late in the afternoon. [So] it has less opportunity."'

Also, check for rocks. The blades on your edger or lawn mower can strike those rocks and create sparks. That could ignite the dry grass.

When it comes to equipment, Ellis breaks it down on two fronts: cars and yard equipment. Don't park your car in tall grass. Hot parts of the car that make contact with the grass can cause a fire.

As for yard equipment, make sure spark arrestors and mufflers are present.

"Don't remove them," Ellis said. "That's not only against the law, but also increasing the chance of a wildland fire with a piece of equipment that otherwise wouldn't cause this."

Ultimately, he says it comes down to being careful.

"Daily there's probably little fires started...during the heat of the day," Ellis said. "It's little grass fires... it happens quite regularly. We're just trying to remind people to be cautious of that."

Keep a shovel, fire extinguisher, or even a wet burlap bag handy when you do yard work this summer. Those tools can stop a fire from spreading if one of these little grass fires happens to you.

Colorado Fire Prevention and Control posted a list of tips on their Facebook page. They list several other tips to avoiding wildfires. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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