Info from Acreage Appraisers in Napa County, CA: Tips for Preventing Fires During Dry Months

January 3, 2018 6:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

From an early age we are taught the importance of fire safety—remember Smokey the Bear? Smokey showed us how to properly put out a campfire and explained what the posted “Unsafe to Burn” and “Safe to Burn” campsite signs meant. But it must be remembered that not all fires are small, although they start that way. Many wildfires will grow to large sizes, and some get so immense that they destroy businesses and residential properties.

Wildfires happen every year in California due to dry conditions in the hills, forests and farmlands. However, experts state that approximately 95 percent of all wildfires in California are caused by people, not by natural occurrences. Furthermore, wildfires are not just a concern during the normal hot, dry seasons, but anytime the lands are dry from a lack of rainfall.

You can help prevent fires by making sure that your campfire, home fire pit and green waste burn piles are fully extinguished, and by not discarding cigarette butts near dry vegetation. Here’s some information from acreage appraisers in Napa County, CA in the form of helpful tips for preventing wildfires during the dry months.

Using outdoor equipment

Mowing your lawn or cutting up a downed tree with a chainsaw may seem like simple routine yard tasks, but proceed with caution and use all equipment responsibly when grass and other vegetation are dry. You don’t want to inadvertently start a fire while taking care of seemingly mundane tasks around your property!

  • Mowing: This chore is best done before 10am, unless it is windy or super dry, in which case you should wait. Also keep in mind that lawn mowers are for mowing green grass, not dry grass, weeds or green debris. Avoid mowing over rocks and dirt—metal striking against rocks can create sparks.
  • Big equipment: Motorized or engine powered equipment like tractors, grinders and welding machines get hot. Never drive hot equipment onto dry grass or brush, since hot parts on the underside can start fires. Always keep a fire extinguisher and shovel at the ready.
  • Gasoline powered equipment: When operated in wildlands, spark arresters are required on chainsaws, tractors, mowers, weed-eaters and all other gas powered equipment.

Extinguishing campfires

Never leave a campfire or fire pit unattended; children and pets should not be left alone around a fire. Always have a big bucket of water and shovel nearby while the fire is burning. To completely extinguish a fire, drown it in water, stir it with your shovel and feel for debris. Make sure to wet all embers and ashes, and wet wood or other solid fuel on all sides. Cover with dirt and mix thoroughly to ensure the fire is adequately smothered. Use your hand to feel that the area is no longer hot.


Many wildfires are started along roadways by motorists. Dragging tow chains, dragging car parts and worn brakes creating metal-against-metal friction can all lead to sparks. Be vigilant to prevent wildfires.

If you need to speak with acreage appraisers in Napa County, CA about your large estate, winery or vacant land, call County Appraisals Inc. to schedule a meeting today!

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