Everything around the western part of Colorado is so dry it doesn't take much to start a fire. Here are the ways you can easily start a fire just by driving your car.

With summer vacation season underway, a lot of people are packing up their vehicle, towing a camper or trailer with their outdoor equipment, and heading our for some fun. That's great, but while you're traveling be aware these five things can easily start a fire.

  1. Dragging Safety Chains - If you're towing a trailer, make sure the chains aren't so loose they can touch the ground. When those chains drag on the pavement or hit rocks, they throw off sparks which can easily start a fire.
  2. Parts of the Car Dragging on the Ground - Just like dragging chains, loose parts that hit the pavement will throw off sparks which will start a fire. Check under your vehicle before traveling to make sure there's nothing that is or can come loose.
  3. Worn Out Brakes - Once the brake pads are worn out it's metal on metal every time you hit the brake pedal. The hot metal and sparks from brakes is a surefire way to start a fire. If you haven't checked your brakes for wear recently, now is a great time to do it.
  4. Driving Through Dry Grass and Brush - The exhaust system under a vehicle is hot enough to start a fire when it comes in contact with extremely dry vegetation. It's very easy to light not only the grass and brush on fire, but your car, too.
  5. Low Tire Pressure - If the pressure is low enough, the rim can touch the pavement and send sparks flying. Making sure the tires have the proper air pressure will not only help prevent a fire, it will also give you better gas mileage.

Even if you don't normally do so, carry a fire extinguisher. Buy one that is approved for auto and RV use and keep it in a place where it can be accessed quickly. If the worst happens, you may have a chance at extinguishing or containing a fire before it becomes out of control.

[Mesa County Sheriff's Office]