ADOT Urges Public To Prevent Wildfires On Roadways

May 19, 2020

The Arizona Department of Transportation is urging the public to secure tow chains, check brakes and properly inflate tires to prevent wildfires.

Crews respond to the Oak Fire on State Route 87 last weekend presumably caused by something dragging from a vehicle that caused a spark.
Credit Arizona Department of Transportation

Officials say dragging chains that create sparks is a common cause of fires, and has ignited some large blazes in the state in recent years including last weekend’s Oak Fire along State Route 87 as well as the 377 Fire in 2018 between Heber-Overgaard and Holbrook that burned 5,000 acres and prompted evacuations.

“Preventing wildfires is actually a simple task,” said ADOT’s deputy state engineer for operations Jesse Gutierrez in a press release. “Please take a few minutes before your trip to make sure tow chains are secure, tires are properly inflated and brakes are in good condition.”

ADOT crews mow vegetation and spray fire retardant along Arizona’s highways every winter and spring to slow possible fires. The agency also suggests people avoid parking in tall grass and make sure nothing is hanging from vehicles or trailers that could drag and create sparks.