While it is impossible to stop lightening from striking or prevent leaves from combustion, you can avoid these memorable and disastrous mistakes from the last 10 years.
2003: Second largest fire in the State of California ripped through Sand Diego County. The Cedar Fire burnt 280,000 acres, destroyed 2,232 homes and left 14 dead. The fire started in the campsite of a hunter trying to ignite his camp fire with dried shrubs.
2004: In 2004, William Matthew Rupp of Jones Valley, CA, caused a massive wildfire when he used his lawnmower during a drought. The lawnmower struck a rock creating a spark that ignited the dry grass of his lawn.
The result was the loss of 11,000 acres and 88 homes. Rupp had been warned by his neighbors not to mow the lawn that day.
2007: Southern California was undergoing a prolonged drought. The brush covering the hills was as dry as tinder. A brush wildfire consumed the hills causing the evacuation of more than 500 homes. The rapid flames ate up approximately three square miles. The cause of the wildfire was believed to be a vehicle fire.
2011: The Hula Hut on Lake Austin, Texas, caught fire after a nearby business set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve. The sparks from this professionally conducted display landed on the deck and ignited. Fortunately, the professional fireworks company had included firefighters as part of their display. The fire was quickly put out.
This prevented what could have quickly become a wildfire from engulfing other structures nearby.
2012: Cle Clum, Washington was the site of a massive wildfire. It scorched 22,600 acres, and caused the evacuation of many homes. Construction on nearby Taylor Bridge was the origin of the wildfire. The welding and cutting practices of the construction company had ignored state regulations. In spite of the dry conditions, the company continued to work using this equipment past the specified crucial time of 1pm. When the fire broke out, the company did not have experienced personnel present to work the pump.
The fire spread rapidly, engulfing the region behind and beyond the Taylor Bridge.