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How Not to Start a Wildfire While Visiting Idaho

Fire
Credit: Stephen Brashear, Getty Images

Traveling for the Eclipse? Don’t start a wildfire

As the Gem State prepares for the onslaught of the thousands of eclipse followers that will visit the state this weekend, the Idaho Transportation Department wants you to know how to stay safe and how not to burn down Idaho’s Forests. 

Idaho wildfires are usually started by human error or not being aware of your surroundings.  Did you know that your car could be a cause of a major fire that could destroy life, land, and livestock?

Here are four things to do while you’re on the road to see the solar eclipse:

1. Before leaving, look under your car and check for hanging parts. Mufflers often get knocked loose and can hang low to the ground. If you see something hanging down, tie it up. These parts can skip on pavement and shower sparks on grasses alongside the roadway.

2. If you are towing a trailer or camper, ensure safety chains are fastened and not dragging. Bumps in the road can cause hanging chains to hit the ground and spark.

3. Don’t drive or park on tall grass. The exterior of your engine or exhaust can get up to 2,800°F. Contact with dry grass can easily start a fire. See this video PSA from U.S. Forest Service.

4. Don’t throw out lit cigarettes. When you’re done with a cigarette, make sure the end is completely put out and cool to the touch. Otherwise, you’re throwing a small fire onto a big pile of tinder.

ITD wants you to enjoy Idaho and the eclipse.  Make sure you go over the vehicle checklist and be on the lookout for others who aren’t as protective of our great state.

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