How does a ‘lemon’ start a wildfire? *hint..it’s a car

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Courtesy: Matthew McFarland, Unified Fire Authority

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – What is a lemon that can cause a wildfire? The folks at Utah Fire Info asked the question and here’s the answer.

In short, it’s a car that’s not working right, or maintained in “good working order.”

It’s important to keep your car well maintained, some surprising things can lead to a car in poor condition causing a wildfire.

Keeping your tires inflated helps stop fires. If you’re driving on tires without the right air pressure in them the rims can hit the asphalt causing a spark. The spark flies into the dry vegetation and now you have a fire.

Another one is the brakes, make sure the brakes are not too worn. When thin, brakes are pressed it can causes metal to metal contact against the rotors and you can get a shower of sparks.

Make sure if you live in an area prone to wildfires you use spark arrestors. A spark arrestor is a device that stops sparks caused by internal combustion engines. Spark arrestors are actually good for equipment too.

One of the last things to be careful of is never to park your car on top of dry grasses. The exhaust pipe and catalytic converter are extremely hot and can ignite the grass easily.

Dragging chains also can cause sparks that lead to ignition.

Think about where you are driving and where you pull over. We have one more month of fire season.

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