Help Prevent Equipment-Caused Wildfires

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources logo with green and blue lettering on white background.

July 28, 2023 – Drought conditions in Minnesota are increasing wildfire risk in central Minnesota. Recently, several equipment-caused wildfires have occurred. Exhaust systems and motors can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees during operation, and equipment can create sparks by hitting rocks or hard surfaces. Taking steps to maintain equipment and putting safety first will help reduce unintentional, equipment-caused wildfires.

Tractor and baler blackened and broken from fire. It sits in a field with green trees and blue sky with clouds in the background.

Photo credit: Alborn Fire Department

Use Caution

It only takes one spark to turn harvest season into wildfire season. Whether you’re working in the field, doing yard work, or operating other heavy machinery, you can help prevent wildfires by following these tips:

  • Keep equipment maintained to minimize overheating and sparks.   
  • Look to the rear regularly to make sure your equipment is not starting fires.   
  • Park on gravel or pavement whenever possible. Avoid idling or parking near tall grasses or vegetation.
  • When doing in-field repairs, use extreme caution when welding, torching, or grinding.
  • Keep a water supply extinguisher, and tools nearby, as well as a phone to call for help.

If you spot a wildfire, call 911.

Fire danger can change quickly. Check current conditions at

Hay bale engulfed in flames and smoking in a blackened field with a line of fire in the distance.