Cars are a leading cause of wildfires - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Cars are a leading cause of wildfires

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COLUMBIA FALLS -

Today, Wednesday July 26th the Flathead Valley is now under stage 2 fire restrictions effective immediately.  That means no fireworks or campfires are allowed.  However, there is another way you can stop wildfires from happening, and it’s easier than you think.

Columbia Falls Fire Chief Rick Hagen tells us that a common cause of wildfires are cars.  Many people park their cars in the deep dry grass and the hot exhaust catches the grass on fire.

Chief Hagen explains, “Very common is people parking in grass.  Whether you're floating the river and parking alongside the road in deep grass or you're out berry picking. There are a lot of Huckleberries this year and people park in the deep grass that can start fires.”

Usually the Columbia Falls fire department gets twenty-five calls on average a day.  Chief Hagen tells us because of the intense fire season this year the station has already gone out on over thirty-five calls and the month isn’t over.

Chief Hagen warns those that have metal chains on their trailers to secure those before getting on the road.  Those chains can strike the hot pavement creating sparks. 

Chief Hagen asks smokers not to throw their cigarette butts out the window.  Many times those butts are not completely extinguished and just the smallest spark from a cigarette butt could start a fire.  Chief Hagen says to simply put out the cigarette butt in the ashtray in your car.     

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