Yet another historical year for America. 2021 is shaping up to be the driest year in the last century, and possibly the driest in a millennium. Nearly one-half of the country, from the Pacific Coast to the Great Plains and the Upper Midwest, is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions. And with historical droughts comes monumental risk of devastating wildfires. Fire safety is important now more than ever.
In the past, railroads have unfortunately been the culprit of countless wildfires. The most common causes have been due to welding and grinding on the tracks without proper fire preventative measures, steam-engine powered locomotives with poor spark arrestors, and faulty brakes.
Regulations and technological improvements have greatly reduced brush and wildfires caused by railroads, and during these vulnerable times, it’s important to keep it that way.
Here are a few items to help your track maintenance crews avoid any catastrophic mishaps.
The Fire Rake and McCleod Fire Rake. Simple yet important tools for removing dry brush and material near areas where ignitions could occur eliminating the ability for a fire to grow, i.e. prior to track welding or grinding.
Spark Shields, aluminum or canvas, provide excellent spark protection during track welding, grinding or cutting as well. Quick to set up, and more compact and portable, these shields effectively block sparks preventing detrimental spark spread.
Keep a pump sprayer filled with water in your track maintenance truck to pre moisten brush, or extinguish any stray sparks or small brush fires ignited by any rail operations.