PROVO, Utah — Every year millions of acres are burned by wildfires. These damaged acres are devastating for vegetation and wildlife, as well as the general population, and cause billions of dollars’ worth of destruction, Fastway Trailer Products noted.
Since 2002, the cost to prevent and fight wildfires has averaged more than $3 billion per year, up from less than $1 billion annually in the 1990s. Wildfire protection now accounts for over half of the Forest Service’s annual budget of $5.5 billion, the release explained.
More than 15,000 wildfires burned in the United States from 2000 to 2013. During these years, 127 urban areas (cities with more than 75,000 residents) were threatened by major wildfires (fires greater than 5 square miles in area) that burned within 10 miles of the city.
In many cases, urban areas have been threatened repeatedly by major wildfire events. Cities in the West are particularly vulnerable to wildfire because the West contains conditions conducive to wildfires such as extensive and remote forest areas and frequent drought conditions.
More than 90 percent of these wildfires have been caused by humans, and a significant number were caused by vehicles. These fires are actually the easiest to prevent, and really only require a few minutes of preparation to reduce the risk of wildfires, the company explained.
To reduce and eliminate the risk of wildfires, Fastway Trailer Products recommends:
- Completely extinguish a campfire before leaving the campsite.
- When using fireworks, only use them on a flat surface far from any dry grass or trees, and keep a bucket of water nearby to thoroughly extinguish fireworks after they are used.
- Properly dispose of cigarettes.
- Never park a vehicle on dry vegetation; the heat from the exhaust can cause it to ignite.
- Properly secure safety chains when towing a vehicle.
Recently Smokey Bear released a video about the potential danger of safety chains dragging behind vehicles. While his video shows twisting the chains to keep them off the ground, Fastway shows drivers a faster, easier way.
For less than $10 Fastway is providing a way to protect our forests and the equipment of those who tow. The solution is a Fastway Chain-Up.
“Dragging chains can cause clanking, wear, and dangerous sparks,” says Rich Elliott, Fastway vice president of sales. “We designed the Fastway Chain-Up to provide a faster and easier way keep chains off the ground. In addition to extending the life of your safety chains, this product helps prevent wildfires, by eliminating the sparks caused by dragging safety chains. We are excited that Smokey Bear produced a video focusing on safety chains, and hope that Americans will join us in preventing fires by properly securing their safety chains.”
SOURCE: Fastway Trailer Products press release