Simple steps to stay fire-safe on the roads

Making sure your car doesn't spark a wildfire
Posted at 5:41 AM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 09:46:33-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Fire officials blame a car's exhaust for sparking the Jennings Fire in Lakeside this week, raising concerns that it could happen again in the near future.

Mechanics at Mossy Nissan in Kearny Mesa tell 10News a faulty catalytic converter is the most likely culprit.

When it breaks down, small pieces of it fly out of the tailpipe, burning hot like embers. They can travel for several feet in the air and land in brush, starting the fire.

They also say there are three main warning signs that your car's catalytic converter is breaking down:

1. Your check engine light comes one

2. Your car doesn't feel like it's running at full power

3. You smell something like gas or burning coming from your car

They say taking your car to a mechanic if any of these things happen could be the difference between a simple repair, or starting a brush fire.

It's also important to be safe with equipment that can start a fire, like lawn mowers and trimmers.

Cal Fire has tips including:

  • Mow before 10 a.m. unless it's windy or very dry.
  • Keep the exhaust system and spark arresters in proper working order on lawn equipment.
  • Keep a shovel and fire extinguisher ready to use.

Find safety information HERE.