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Driving with a flat tire can spark a fire


POSTED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 6:50pm

Burn bans are still in effect for 157 counties in Texas.

Including every county here in East Texas.

But, did you know: if you drive with a flat tire, you could be in violation of a burn ban?

The Smith County Fire Marshal's office tells KETK our part of the state has still not recovered from the 2011 drought.

"With our hot high heat days we've had, our vegetation has not been able to recuperate overnight instead we are going downhill," said Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton.

About two weeks ago, two massive grass fires broke out in Smith County burning 350 acres.

Seaton tells KETK the fires were caused by a spark from a driver's flat tire.

"The tire is going to disintegrate and come apart and when it does the metal rims are going to contact the surface and it's going to generate sparks, and sparks go out and set the grass on fire."

Seaton also said if you drive on a flat tire for awhile, the rubber is going to overheat and fly off.

Another thing that can start a fire.

"It's something as simple as that just goes to show how dry the vegetation is."

Duirng the summer months, asphalt can heat up to 140 to 160 degrees.

"That is going to raise the tire pressure to at least 20 pounds and 20 pounds in a tire if you are running 35 already that's 55 pounds in that tire," said Owner of West Erwin Auto Repair George Cornett.

Cornett said when the temperature changes you should check your tires air pressure on a regular basis.

And avoid running over any tire parts on the road.

"If a truck's tire comes off and gets in the highway don't hit it you may be there for awhile if you do," said Cornett.  

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