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“Burning down the house”

Posted 7/2/2012   Updated 7/2/2012 Email story   Print story


by By 2nd Lt. David Liapis
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/2/2012 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho  -- What do lightning, cigarette butts, fireworks and trailer safety chains have in common?

If you said, "ingredients for an out-of-control camping trip," you're only partially correct. If your answer was, "they can all start wildfires," you're absolutely right!

Whether it's a huge bolt of electricity from the sky or a small spark resulting from friction between steel and asphalt, the result can be devastating. While lightning is not something that can be stopped, carelessness with other potential fire-starters can be.

"The use of exploding shooting targets on Idaho's rangelands has been a major culprit of recent fires," said MHAFB Fire Marshal, Lt. Col. Mike Holliday. "These should not be used on Idaho's rangelands."

Holliday had some other words of wisdom regarding fire prevention.

"Don't discard cigarettes out vehicle windows and be cognizant of trailer safety chains - loose chains can cause sparks!"

The combination of a dry winter and spring, and typical high winds experienced here in the Snake River Valley make for a potentially volatile fire season. Local authorities recognize this possibility and have taken steps to mitigate wildfires.

"Effective immediately, Elmore County has implemented a ban on all open burning due to the serious fire hazard conditions," said Holliday.

There are currently no restrictions for the use of legal fireworks in Elmore County this Independence Day. However, extreme caution should be used.

Mountain Home Fire Department officials advise using fireworks on hard surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or dirt that is free of grass or other combustible materials.

"Take a moment to think about what you are doing," said Holliday. "A bit of common sense can save money and lives!"

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