Tips for mowing dry vegetation safely during Fire Season
Mowing is one of the many important tasks taking on each year in preparation for the fire season. It is important to keep vegetation low, especially if it is dry. Cured vegetation is more likely to catch fire than green vegetation such as an irrigated lawn.
Although this may be true, the process of mowing dry vegetation can sometimes end up being the cause of a fire. Therefore, we must take all precautions to reduce the chances of starting a fire. In the case that you must mow dry grass below are a few tips to keep you safe.
Using a weed-eater
1. Avoid metal trimmer line or any type of line with metal material manufactured in the core. regular weedeater strings are made of nylon so will not cause a spark if you end up hitting metals or rocks.
2. Start weed eater away from the gas can as recommended by some manufacturers.
3. When weed-eating tougher vegetation use a poly blade as an alternative to metal blades. Metals blades can cause a spark when they contact rocks and other metals.
4. Consider using a battery-operated trimmer if you are working in a small space. A battery-operated trimmer is less likely to cause a spark compared to a petrol engine.
Using a lawnmower the safe way
1. When using a lawnmower do a general scan within the area you intend to work. This is just an extra precaution to make sure they are no bigger objects that will contact the mower blade. Mower blades can cause a spark. Even if your grass is green a spark can fly into a dry area nearby.
2. If you are unsure of what is beneath the grass, try raising your mower deck a bit higher for the first pass then lowering it to the desired height on the second pass.
3. For those who get easily fatigued by carrying around a weed eater. A walk behind string trimmer mower is a great alternative and, in many cases, will give you equal results.
- Use a small tarp, tailgate, or pavement as a temporary fuel station to avoid gas spills. Gas and dry vegetation are dangerous combination especially at high temperatures.
- Always have a fire extinguisher, shovel, or water readily available in the case of an emergency.
- It is always a good idea to mow during the coolest parts of the day. This not only reduces the chances of a fire but also reduces fatigue.
- Park vehicles away from vegetation if you are transporting equipment to a job site. Catalytic converters can ignite dry vegetation. Likewise, keep recently used equipment off vegetation. Certain metal parts on a small engine can get overheated and cause fire once it contacts vegetation.
If you must mow during extremely dangerous conditions, it is always best to keep up to date with guidelines pertaining to the area you live in.