What are Spark Free Zones?

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.


(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.


Written by TWOSCOOPS

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  1. 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).”

  2. 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.

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