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Posted on: May 10, 2022

Drought Conditions - Help Prevent Grass Fires

Preventing Grass Fires

Preventing Grass Fires

  • Don't throw cigarette or cigar butts on the ground or out of a vehicle. Dispose of them properly and make sure they are completely extinguished.
  • Do not burn trash, leaves or brush outdoors; there is a permanent burn ban in the City of Austin and during certain times of the year bans are implemented in many outlying areas.
  • Keep a 30-foot "safety zone" surrounding the home clear of brush and cedar, especially for those living in a woodland area. Grass should be cut short in this area as well. For homes that sit on a steep slope, the safety zone should be increased accordingly.
  • Stack firewood at least 15 feet and uphill from the home.
  • Rake leaves, cut off dead limbs and twigs, and mow grass regularly. Cut tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground and remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
  • Don't park cars, trucks, or recreational vehicles on dry grass or shrubs. Exhaust systems on vehicles can reach a temperature of more than 1000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a brush fire in the summer.
  • Use an approved spark arrester on all internal combustion engine-powered equipment. This special muffler helps ensure that sparks generated by off-road vehicles, chainsaws and other equipment don’t start wildfires. Check and replace spark arresters periodically.
  • Maintain equipment in good working order.
  • Parents should emphasize to their children the dangers of playing with fire. Many grass fires are started by children who have no idea how quickly flames can grow and spread.
  • Homeowners who barbeque should maintain a 10-foot area free of brush and shrubbery around grills and propane tanks. Non-flammable screens should be placed over the grill (with mesh no coarser than 1/4 inch thick). Never leave a grill unattended. After use, place grill ashes in a metal bucket and soak in water.
  • Keep a shovel, bucket of water, fire extinguisher, or other fire suppression tools on hand.


Info from City of Austin