DENVER (KDVR) — The causes of several recent wildfires have been pinned on human impacts.

FOX31 spoke with Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control about what causes wildfires.

Gone are the days when you could blame a fire on someone tossing a cigarette out of their car window. In fact, since 1980, those fires have gone down by 90%, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“Cigarettes isn’t the big deal,” Rocco Snart, fire behavior expert with Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control, said.

Still, Snart advises not to toss your cigarette out — there’s plenty of fuel around you to start a wildfire, especially when it’s windy.

“Grass fuels…they get kind of a bad name because there’s so much of it right now,” Snart said.

Avoid these activities to help prevent wildfires

There is a list of things you might already be doing to cause a wildfire — “things that would be very helpful are for folks to really delay a couple of days,” Snart said.

Wait another few days, Snart said, before doing the following:

  • “Agricultural burning, right now, this time of year, is pretty critical for farmers to get their fields in line and get them ready for the next planting,” Snart said. “I’d highly discourage any open burning tomorrow.”
  • “Avoid any activity the wind could push embers into the air and blow into dry grass,” Snart said. “We haven’t had enough rain for the grass to be green and not so flammable.”
  • “Having campfires this weekend would not be the best option, as well,” Snart said.
  • “Towing a trailer and the chain gets loose that can create enough sparks, especially in some of those areas,” Snart said.
  • Tall grass is also a risk for wildfires. If you take a drive then park in dry grass, even your hot brakes could make embers that could get picked up by the wind.
  • Experts urge people to avoid any chore or activity that involves fires or heated machinery near dry grass.

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