Often times we don’t think of Brush Fires as a contributing factor to driving conditions, however rising smoke can block visibility, creating havoc on the roadways. This can contribute to automobile safety.
Just recently in the Hayward area commuters experienced just that!
Approximately 20 firefighters responded to reports of brush fires at the shoulder of the freeway near West Tennyson Road in Hayward, CA. While it took crews under an hour to control the fires it was not without difficulty.
Car traffic was backed up due to the closure of two southbound lanes during the blaze. The cause of the fire is still undetermined and no vehicles or homes were damaged.
But what would you do if you found yourself behind the wheel of your automobile in a similar circumstance?
- Simply be aware of your surroundings
- Be alert of all EMS crews in the area
- Use caution when approaching brush fires on the side of the freeway
- If at all possible, tune in and find alternative routes
- Be courteous to other drivers in the area
Keep in mind that our areas dry conditions provide a perfect environment for brush fires. Local fire departments respond to an estimated average of 334,200 brush, grass and forest fires per year. That is a whopping 915 per day on average. While only 16% of brush fires occur on highways, streets or parking areas – 1 in 5 are intentionally set. Smoking materials actually account for 47% of the brush fires nationwide.
By proper planning and taking action, specifically in the spring and summer – you too can do your part in keeping our community safe.