San Diego

Cal Fire Shares Safety Tips After Lawnmower Sparks Small Fire in Vista

Cal Fire San Diego is reminding residents to maintain their yards responsibly amid the hot and dry climate after a lawnmower sparked a small brush fire Tuesday in Vista.

While the fire only grew to about an eighth of an acre and was put out in less than two hours, Cal Fire said conditions were right for the blaze to become much more dangerous.

The agency says 95 percent of wildfires in the state are caused by human activity.

Whether clearing brush to make a defensible space around your home, or just tidying up your landscaping, Cal Fire has some basic tips for wildland dwellers that will help prevent the next devastating fire:

  • Mow before 10 a.m., but never when it's windy and excessively dry.
  • Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires.
  • Use the recommended grade of fuel and don’t top off your equipment.

The homeowner told NBC 7 they were trying to clear weeds when the fire started but were unaware that they should have done it before 10 a.m.

According to NBC 7's First Alert Doppler Radar, Vista saw a high of 77 degrees and the wind blew up to 8 mph.

Cal Fire says spark arresters are required on all portable gas-powered equipment, including tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, mowers and weed eaters, in wildland areas.

The agency has plenty more wildfire prevention tips available here.

Cal Fire responded to Thursday's fire on private property along Osborne Street at around 1:45 p.m. It was described as having a moderate rate of spread and was burning with the help of light fuels. Firefighters stopped the forward rate of spread about an hour later and said the fire was put out by around 3 p.m.

No other information was available.

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