What are Spark Free Zones?

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By TwoScoops

If you see tow chains dragging, call 911, especially on 101, 154, 192, hopefully “Spark Free Zones”.  Tow chains and underinflated tires can cause sparks that start wildfires. Fires along highways not only put people and property at risk but can cause long backups and even extended closures, or block your emergency evacuation routes.  

(1) Check and secure tow chains, and never substitute parts when towing.  

(2) Make sure nothing is hanging beneath your vehicle and dragging on the pavement.  

(3) Check tire pressure before you travel.  Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.

(4) Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.

(5) Never throw a lit cigarette out the window.

EASY THINGS WE CAN DO:  

(1) Carry a fire extinguisher in your car. This should be a S.B. County ordinance.  

(2) Call 911 and report vehicles that are sparking, CHP will followup.  

(3) If you see encampments under bridges or along highway, call CHP: CHP non-emergency number:1-800-TELL CHP (non-emergency) (1-800-835-5247). They'll direct your call to the correct CHP office and then you can report your issue from there. Store this phone number for easy reach.

(4) Lake Cachuma Park Rangers, and all state and county parks, should check each vehicle tow chain, when _entering_ and _leaving_ park.

The issue of fire extinguishers should be a community discussion.  You can use them on roadside small fires.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can hand your fire extinguisher to someone who knows what to do.  You might be the extra that’s needed at that point.  Not so nice to think about, if you are trying to evacuate and it looks like your’re stuck, use fire extinguisher on your own car.  It’s best to evacuate early, and avoid all that.  But, nowadays, new planning for the what-ifs is wise.

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19 Comments

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a-1558648894 Apr 28, 2019 06:51 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

JAK, did you find the answer? Any attorney reading Edhat today want to show us how to look this up?

jak Apr 27, 2019 05:06 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Are you allowed to use coiled springs in California to keep trailer chains from dangling? Some states still seem to ban anything beyond a pair of basic welded link chains and they must have enough slack to allow the vehicle/trailer combination to turn a tight corner.

a-1558648894 Apr 27, 2019 05:00 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

The sale at Costco on fire extinguishers. I'm there today.

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 05:46 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Instead of a fire extinguisher, if and when your vehicle engine (or someone else's) catches on fire, you can always toss your large cup of coffee or, as in my friend's case, large container of Coca-Cola on the fire.

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 05:26 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Repeaters linked, here's a list including Santa Ynez Peak. Map included. Short wave radio. https://www.pvarc.club/repeater-systems/

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 05:03 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Accoutrements -- fire extinguishers in cars. Personalized ones would be nice. Your name on it. Colors (match your car color), designs. For the woman or man who has everything!

tagdes Apr 26, 2019 07:43 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Not a good idea....they are color coded already red=water, cream=foam, blue=powder, black= CO2 and yellow= wet chemical. switching the colors could cause an explosion if used by rescue personnel on the wrong substance.

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 11:39 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

"As a rural firefighter, I have been to multiple grass fires over the years, along highways and the interstate that have started from a safety chain dragging on the blacktop. If the chain can touch the ground, it causes sparks. I followed a car one time and watched as sparks flipped off behind the car. Those drivers are totally unaware they are starting fires. Please check the underside of your vehicle, your towing attachment area, and the underside of your trailer for anything dragging. It might save you from a multi-million dollar expense because your vehicle started a grass fire."

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 08:49 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Stop by any fire station for instructions on how to use fire extinguisher. While you're at it, take a food gift basket as a thank you...for everything.

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 06:39 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

California Highway Patrol Communications Center. On site, upper left corner for areas covered. 'Ventura' for Goleta to Ventura. 'San Luis Obispo' for Lake Cachuma/154, and 101 to Refugio. Look under “type” for description of call. Sometimes it is fire that some person called in. Sometimes it is a roadside fire, or in some cases multiple roadside fires, often started by a sparking vehicle. CHP often races to find the vehicle. Sometimes the report is that “good sams” stop and help put out the fire, while it’s small. We have good people among us. Fire extinguishers are useful. Good people are, too. http://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 06:24 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

KEYT news story. Aug 7, 2018 - "Rigo and Luzili Rodriguez were driving home on Highway 101 Monday night when they came face-to-face with dangerous sparks on the road from a truck" ... https://www.keyt.com/news/fire/truck-dragging-chain-on-freeway-sparks-wildfire-concerns/778719997

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 06:17 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Topanga Canyon day trip for fun? A nice research trip for wildfire safety, hoping someone will go from S.B. and post on Edhat what you've learned from them. Learn how to back up your home communications to improve your chances of receiving emergency alerts in a wildfire or other disaster if the power is out. Topanga Emergency Fair, May 5, 10-4, Topanga Community House, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA. Topanga is very active in the ham radio community.

a-1558648894 Apr 26, 2019 02:06 AM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Maybe I don't drive as much as most people. In my decades of driving in CA I have yet to see a single spark from a vehicle.

a-1558648894 Apr 25, 2019 05:37 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Some motorcyclists like to drag their muffler on the freeway, 'mod'ed' for the sound. This creates sparks, as well.

tagdes Apr 25, 2019 04:41 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

A word to the wise .... if you haven't been checking your tire pressure drive with you windows open. That way you'll be able to hear your rims grinding away should your tires be a little under inflated.

a-1558648894 Apr 25, 2019 04:21 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

If you have the room in your vehicle - shovels are pretty handy, too!

a-1558648894 Apr 25, 2019 03:51 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

It's actually very smart to carry a small fire extinguisher in your trunk in case you ever happen upon somebody with a fire starting in their car or your own for that matter. We have one in each car that was picked up at Costco a few years ago.

SBSBSBSBSBsb Apr 25, 2019 03:42 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

Sb should also require snow chains to be carried on all vehicles. You never know

a-1558648894 Apr 25, 2019 02:06 PM
What are Spark Free Zones?

A sale! "Through April 30th, head on in to your local Costco where members can score a First Alert Heavy Duty 5 Pound Fire Extinguisher for only $26.99 after an $8 instant rebate is applied at the register (regularly $34.99)."

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