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ODOT Urges Drivers To Take Wildfire Precautions

BEND, OR -- With no major wildfires burning in the state so far this summer, Oregon’s Department of Transportation would like to keep it that way. "Wildfires are actually caused by vehicles in the summer more than anything else, in Oregon." ODOT’s Kacey Davey tells KBND News they're sparked by things like dragging tow chains or metal rims striking a rock, "Driving off-road when there’s dry grass under your car. So, any of that dry grass coming in contact with hot parts of your car, that can start wildfires. People toss lit cigarettes out of their vehicles all of the time. So, put those out in your car, please."

Davey says off-road areas are now drying out after early season rain, creating dangerous wildfire conditions. She suggests making sure your car is properly maintained - especially if you plan to go off-roading, and pack a fire prevention kit. "I carry things like a shovel; in case there’s a little spark I see, I can shovel some dirt on it. I carry a bucket, in case I can put dirt in it or water and throw it on a fire. And, I also carry a fire extinguisher."

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, in 2021, more than 70% of the state’s wildfires were human-caused; vehicles were the number one source.

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