Learning Center

Don’t Let Range Fires Send Your Dreams Up In Smoke

Prevent Range Fires

Minimize the risk of farm and ranch fires by reducing the source of fuel:

  • Keep your machine shed clean. Make sure all solvents, lubricants and other chemicals are stored in their proper containers, with the lids closed tightly.

  • Make sure oily rags are disposed of properly and not left in a pile.

  • Keep surrounding grounds mowed. Clear shrubbery from around all buildings (house, outbuildings, barn, etc.) and eliminate dead vegetation and other debris.

  • Store hay and other bedding away from buildings.

  • Eliminate large piles of organic material, which can self-ignite as they decompose.

Limit potential sources of ignition:

  • Don’t allow smoking near buildings where flammable materials are stored.

  • Don’t park vehicles with a hot engine over combustible materials. Exhaust system components with a damaged heat shield can reach temperatures of 800 degrees or higher.

  • Treat all motor vehicles as heat generation sources that can start combustion.

  • Check all electrical systems to make sure there are no bare wires exposed and that all connections meet safety codes. If in doubt, have a licensed electrical contractor inspect and correct any problems.

  • If using an electric fence, install controllers outside buildings, and secure them to a noncombustible base. Locate controllers away from flammable materials.

  • Keep barn fans and electric motors free of dust.

  • Keep combines and other machinery clear of chaff and trash.

  • Install lightning-suppression systems properly and keep them well maintained.

  • Keep fences clear of dead/dry vegetation.

Other points to remember:

  • Make your property easily accessible to emergency vehicles.

  • Only use electrical appliance approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

  • Have a fire emergency plan in place; practice it with your family.

  • Place fire extinguishers in strategic locations in all of your farm buildings.

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