Wildfire Awareness: Farm and Ranch Safety Tips
Farm and ranch families, and citizens living in rural areas, can help protect their property during potentially severe wildfire seasons by taking precautions before fires break out. Fire experts advise keeping grass mowed within 30 feet of your home. Minimize shrubbery near your home and prune lower branches of trees to help prevent surface fires from spreading into tree crowns.
Make sure the areas beneath utility lines are clear of brush, tall grass and trees to reduce the risk of losing utility services. Make sure driveways and roads onto your property are passable in all types of weather, and wide enough to allow access by heavy fire trucks. Other tips include:
- Clear vegetation between buildings and from nearby fields or woodlands to create a firebreak to
stop, or to help restrict, the spread of a wildfire.
- Clear areas and create firebreaks along roadways to prevent roadside fires from spreading onto
- Keep mufflers and spark arresters on agricultural equipment in proper working order.
- Monitor hay-baling operations closely. Check for hot bearings or hay caught in rollers. Keep a
fire extinguisher handy.
- Watch out for sparks when using welding equipment. Remove vegetation from the work area or
wet down vegetation prior and during welding operations. Keep water handy, and use a spotter
to watch for sparks.
- Avoid driving or parking vehicles in grassy areas where tall, dry grass can come into contact
with hot pollution control equipment under your vehicle.
- Postpone outdoor burning until vegetation in your area becomes green. Check with your local
fire department to determine if all restrictions on outdoor burning have been lifted.
For more information on fire danger and advisories visit the
Texas Forest Service website.