Fires easily sparked by common car part

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 6:21pm

Fire officials, who are investigating the Alto fire that burned more than 1,800 acres, in less than 24 hours, over the weekend, tell KETK, they think a truck's catalytic converter is to blame.  Non-diesel vehicles, like trucks, suv's and cars, have catalytic converters, as part of a government mandated emission requirement.  They filter unused fuel, and are usually around a thousand degrees, but can get up to 1,300 degrees, when the vehicle has been running for a longer period of time. Investigators say this heat mixed with tall dry grass can spark devastating flames within minutes. Keeping your car tuned can help keep the exhaust system temperature down. Becoming familiar with your exhaust system, looking for holes in the tailpipe, which makes the exhaust closer to the ground, can also help you to prevent a fire.


Jessica Wilson/

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