Every Insurance Company That Allows It's Customers To Tow Homemade Trailers, And Trailers That Are Defective And Not Maintained Needs To Be Sued And We Will Name Them All Who Have Chosen Not To Do Anything.  Download The Report To The Governor Of Washington Click Here
State Farm No Underwriting For Homemade Trailers
Farmers Insurance They Don't Care No Underwriting For Homemade Trailers
Allstate Insurance Same Thing...No Underwriting For Homemade Trailers
Erie Insurance No Underwriting For Homemade Trailers

We are waiting for Boat US to get back to us....but no insurance company asks.....did you maintain and
repack your ball bearings...every 1,000 miles?  Is your safety chain dragging?  Are you using ST Rated Tires.
Every Insurance Company that chooses not to address will be called out.
Every Law Maker that decides they do not want to prevent fires will be called out.

Texas now has decided to enforce inspections on all trailers over 4,500 we think they need to include all trailers...however if they are lobbied by the Insurance Company's and the NATM  National Association Of Trailer Manufactures to give up this program we will notify.

Look At These Quotes:

“This friction and heat-related mechanical seizure did not allow the wheel assembly to rotate properly,” wrote Saltsman. “As the trailer was towed, the wheel assembly was drug, eventually causing the wheel’s tire to rupture. Once enough rubber from the tire was worn away, abrasion and wear continued into the metal wheel itself, thus producing a metal-to-pavement grinding action.”

“The lack of appropriate general maintenance, specifically proper lubrication … ultimately led to an equipment failure … Hot metal fragments eventually separated from the failed wheel assembly of the utility trailer and served as an ignition source. The fragments landed in a receptive fuel bed of fine dead grass causing a wildfire to be ignited near mile marker 198 on SR 20 during the early afternoon of August 1, 2014,” Saltsman concluded.

Do you understand that the current system is not working.  People will not maintain their defective trailers unless they are made to and it is the responsiblity of Government to ensure not only public safety but wildlife safety. 

We will hold and call out all political leaders who might choose to ignore this critical issue and post either their responses to our letters or their silience.

"In The End We Will Not Remember The Words Of Our Enemies But The Silence Of Our Friends" MLK













DNR investigation: improperly maintained trailer caused Rising Eagle Road Fire

by on 2:15 pm
Seized wheel was ground on pavement, sending hot metal flakes onto dry grass

By Marcy Stamper

An investigation into the Rising Eagle Road Fire has concluded that the August 2014 fire was caused when a wheel on an improperly maintained utility trailer stopped rotating and dragged on the pavement, sending superheated metal flakes onto the side of the road, where they ignited extremely dry vegetation.

The 82-page, seven-month investigation was completed March 3 by Greg Saltsman, a wildland fire investigator with the northeast region of the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Saltsman arrived at the scene of the fire just after 6 p.m. on Aug. 1, scarcely more than four hours after it began. The fire burned 579 acres, almost all private land, between Winthrop and Twisp, and destroyed 24 structures, including 10 houses.

The empty light-duty utility trailer that was the focus of DNR’s investigation belongs to David Ford of Mazama and was being towed on Aug. 1 by Nancy Leland, Ford’s wife, when the right wheel seized, causing the tire to blow out. Unaware of the flat, Leland continued driving south on Highway 20 with the wheel grinding along the pavement before pulling over, according to Saltsman’s written account.

Leland’s sister-in-law, who was following in another vehicle, tried to get Leland’s attention by honking and waving, but Leland had traveled 935 feet on the worn-down rim before she became aware of the malfunction, pulled over and unhitched the trailer, according to Saltsman’s account. Photographs in the report show a wheel with two flat, angular sides where the metal was worn away.

“It is suspected that had the trailer’s owner ensured that the trailer was adequately maintained for safely towing on a public road, the wildland fire could have been prevented,” wrote Saltsman.

At the request of DNR, the trailer was impounded in the evening of Aug. 1 by an Okanogan County sheriff’s deputy and towed to Omak as evidence. An inspection by Choice Automotive & RV in Omak on Aug. 20 found that the trailer’s right-side wheel bearings were seized to the axle shaft and that the wheel and hub would not rotate.

In his report, Saltsman described finding charred rocks and vegetation, sooting and white ash on the east side of Highway 20 near milepost 198 at what he terms primary and secondary ignition points. Saltsman ultimately found a single tiny shard of metal near each of the ignition points that he determined had come from the ground-down wheel. He also found abrasion marks on the highway that he said were caused by the grinding of the wheel.

“This friction and heat-related mechanical seizure did not allow the wheel assembly to rotate properly,” wrote Saltsman. “As the trailer was towed, the wheel assembly was drug, eventually causing the wheel’s tire to rupture. Once enough rubber from the tire was worn away, abrasion and wear continued into the metal wheel itself, thus producing a metal-to-pavement grinding action.”

“The lack of appropriate general maintenance, specifically proper lubrication … ultimately led to an equipment failure … Hot metal fragments eventually separated from the failed wheel assembly of the utility trailer and served as an ignition source. The fragments landed in a receptive fuel bed of fine dead grass causing a wildfire to be ignited near mile marker 198 on SR 20 during the early afternoon of August 1, 2014,” Saltsman concluded.

The wildfire risk on Aug. 1 was very high — it was 96 degrees just before 2 p.m. when the fire was first reported and 100 degrees within the hour. Grasses and brush were exceptionally dry, and winds were from 12 to 22 miles per hour. The investigation report states that there was a 90-percent chance of ignition.

Even wind from passing traffic would have fanned the fire. “All elements were present for an explosive fire spread scenario,” wrote Saltsman.

The fire was attacked by an all-out effort that afternoon and night by firefighters from Okanogan County Fire District 6 and by crews diverted from the Carlton Complex Fire, including 17 helicopters, two air tankers and a DC-10 that dropped retardant.

Owner interviews

In interviews with Saltsman in mid-August, Ford and Leland explained that they used the trailer to carry rafts for river excursions. On Aug. 1, they had dropped a raft at the Winthrop Barn for a float trip.

Leland was towing the empty trailer to the place where they planned to end their trip. Her sister-in-law, Pamela Leland, and Pamela’s daughter were following in another vehicle to take them back to the starting point at the barn, according to Saltsman’s report.

Nancy said she pulled over after she saw Pamela waving. They unhitched the trailer and saw a plume of smoke behind them and Nancy called 911 to report the fire. Nancy told Saltsman that she thought sparks from the flat tire may have caused the fire, he wrote.

Trailer inspection

The mechanic with Choice Automotive & RV in Omak who inspected the trailer said it was “in a severe state of disrepair and not legal for use in its current condition and there was a lack of lubrication and severe water contamination in the both [sic] wheel bearings,” according to Saltsman’s account. In addition, the trailer was missing the right tail/turn light and the left tail/turn light was secured with duct tape and was aimed toward the ground.

“In my professional opinion the right hub & bearing assembly seized up & wheel quit turning, causing tire to skid down the road & grind the wheel flat,” wrote Choice Automotive mechanic Michael Roberts in his inspection report. “In order for a wheel to have that much material ground off the trailer had to have been towed for a significant distance with the hub seized.”

In an interview with Saltsman, Pamela Leland described honking and waving to get Nancy’s attention after the tire blew out. She said she saw a spark or two from the right-hand side of the trailer once the rubber was gone but that the tire had remained attached even after the metal was in contact with the pavement.

Saltsman consulted a manual for a similar trailer made by the same manufacturer, which recommended that to prevent damage to the bearings, the wheel bearings should be disassembled and repacked with grease every 1,000 miles or annually. (He said a manual for the exact trailer model couldn’t be found.)

Ford told Saltsman he had owned the trailer since it was new and that he used it to transport a river raft in the summer and a snowmobile in the winter. Ford said he did not back the trailer into the water to unload rafts and had greased the wheel bearings once, according to Saltsman’s report.

The investigation report includes a sworn statement by then–Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Rodriguez, who spoke with Nancy and Pamela Leland, whom he found stopped alongside Highway 20 while he was evacuating residents during the fire. The Lelands described the situation and Pamela’s efforts to signal Nancy. “Nancy then commented about how bad she felt about starting the fire,” wrote Rodriguez.

Catalytic converter — another theory

Saltsman also followed up on a statement from Ford that Ford had heard from two individuals that the fire had been caused by heat from a catalytic converter on a pick-up truck. This theory had been mentioned in comments on an online bulletin board, wrote Saltsman.

In February 2015, Saltsman spoke with Hank and Christine Rogers of Winthrop, whom Ford said he had been told had posted the statement about the catalytic converter online. Ford said the information had been attributed to Hank Rogers by two other Methow Valley residents in two separate conversations.

In the February interview, Christine Rogers told Saltsman that she went to look at the fire about 20 minutes after hearing the first reports on the police scanner. Both Hank and Christine Rogers said Hank was not in the area when the fire was reported and they did not know how the information provided to Ford by the two other individuals could have originated with them, wrote Saltsman. The Rogerses said they had not posted anything online and do not use social media.

Saltsman also spoke with Marcia Butchart of Twisp, who on Aug. 1 had posted a response to a question on Facebook about how the fire had started. Butchart told Saltsman she had run into Rogers and that he told her the fire had started when a man pulled his truck into tall grass to take a picture and that the catalytic converter had ignited the grass. This is the account she posted on Facebook, along with a statement that she did not know where Rogers had gotten his information. Neither Hank nor Christine Rogers recalled what Butchart described and posted on Facebook, wrote Saltsman.

Saltsman also ruled out other sources of ignition, such as lightning or fireworks.

In late October, Saltsman called an attorney representing Ford to arrange to return the trailer (except for the wheel and tire, which were being retained as evidence) but Ford was out of town. Neither Ford nor a representative has made arrangements for the return of the trailer, so it remains in DNR’s possession.

By law, DNR must investigate all wildfires on state and private land the agency protects. DNR is also required to recover costs associated with the suppression of wildfires if those fires were considered to be criminally or negligently caused, according to the agency. Any funds recovered go into Washington’s general fund, not to DNR.

The Washington attorney general is still reviewing the final investigation report and will provide legal advice to DNR, according to the communications director for the attorney general. No charges have been filed.

Ford said this week that he and his wife don’t believe the flat tire caused the fire. He said they are working with an attorney and are not able to say anything further.






26 new fires every day

Citizen Staff Writer

By ERIC SAGARA

esagara@tucsoncitizen.com

Nearly 90 percent of the blazes in Arizona’s largest desert fire season in a decade were caused by people.

With about 225 new fires in Arizona in the past eight days, state and federal fire officials are asking that recreation seekers mind fire restrictions at popular outdoor spots over the July 4 weekend.

Spring rains fueled prolific growth of Arizona’s lowland grasses, and high temperatures are priming them for fire. Recent near-record temperatures only aggravate the situation.

“Basically, the grass is so dried and cured and it’s so hot that you could almost view it as a bed of gasoline laying on the ground, just waiting for a spark,” said Cliff Pearlberg, wildland fire prevention officer for the Arizona State Land Department.

This is the second-worst wildfire season in 13 years, but this year the flames are moving through desert grasses, not heavy timber as they were in the worst year, 2002.

Based on records, firefighters will respond to 26 new fires in Arizona every day this month.

For every fire started by lightning in Arizona this year, nearly eight were caused by humans, according to federal data.

In Coronado National Forest, covering much of the federal land around Tucson such as the Santa Catalina Mountains, the situation is similar. Of its 56 fires this year, 45 were started by humans, according to the Southwest Coordination Center. The center oversees firefighting efforts in Arizona, New Mexico and the western half of Texas.

Humans are blamed for more than half the wildfires in Arizona since 1992, the most recent year for which information is available.

Every one of those fires, which have burned a combined 1.5 million acres – or an area 10 times the size of Tucson – could have been prevented, fire experts say.

Those include the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire, which burned more than 460,000 acres across the White Mountains, and the Catalinas’ Bullock and Aspen fires, which burned a combined 120,000 acres in 2002 and 2003, respectively,

In grassy areas, a careless smoker, an unattended campfire, a hot tailpipe, even a trailer’s safety chain dragging on a road – anything that causes a spark – can ignite a fire that can double in size within a half hour. Within six hours, a one-acre fire can grow to 256 acres.

Earlier this week, the lightning-caused Cave Creek Complex fires, nearly 200,000 acres north of Phoenix, were spreading at a rate of two miles an hour, nearly as fast as a human can walk.

Three feet of grass can send flames shooting more than 24 feet into the air and spit embers hundreds of feet.

“Once a grass fire has started in the 110-degree weather expected this week, onlookers may only have time to grab prepackaged possessions and get out of harm’s way,” the state land department’s Pearlberg said. “Grass fires have killed more firefighters than forest fires have.”

Fire engines and crews will patrol popular recreation areas this weekend, looking to stop fires before they rage out of control.

Forest and park law officers also will look for campers and other outdoors enthusiasts violating fire restrictions. Officials emphasize that fireworks are illegal throughout the state unless you have a license.

Pearlberg suggested recreation seekers take precautions outdoors this weekend:

• Be alert for the smell or sight of smoke.

• Know all the ways out of any recreation area you visit.

• Don’t box your vehicle in, and park it so that you can pull out quickly.

The Forest Service has six additional fire engines on loan from other departments around the country now stationed throughout the Coronado forest. A group of elite firefighters is also on standby in Safford.

But officials worry that this year’s fire season won’t end with the lightning-packed storms of the monsoon season.

The lightning-caused blazes so far this fire season already have burned more acres than in any entire fire season since 1992.

Fire officials say resources will be stretched thin as volatile weather systems move into the area, sparking more fires. The problem is too much extremely dry vegetation, said Coronado fire information officer Mary Lee Peterson.

Forecasters predict a late start to the monsoon, the Southwest’s summer rainy season, which on the 30-year average starts July 5, and below-average rainfall. Peterson said that means fire crews could be battling blazes well into August.

Already, Coronado National Forest has had fires near Catalina, Patagonia, Madera Canyon and in the Rincon Mountains. No fires have been reported in Coronado’s Chiricahua National Monument in far southeast Arizona.

Aggressive tactics by firefighters have kept those and other area fires small, said Coronado spokeswoman Gail Aschenbrenner.

“I really think that if we’re successful as we have been on initial attack, we may not get into a large fire situation,” she said. “But it’s also going to depend greatly on how much people are really paying attention to campfires, smoking, parking in the tall grass and things like that, that can ignite these fires, especially in the lower elevations.”

Human-caused Lightning-caused Total

fires acres fires acres fires acres

1992 2,353 33,770 1,603 7,836 3,956 41,606

1993 3,719 117,049 1,016 87,725 4,735 204,774

1994 2,469 40,793 2,110 182,106 4,579 222,899

1995 3,318 119,366 1,526 125,397 4,844 244,763

1996 1,747 89,916 2,033 98,271 3,780 188,187

1997 1,500 8,962 1,302 9,585 2,802 18,547

1998 2,317 43,432 916 7,718 3,233 51,150

1999 1,416 50,605 1,795 31,675 3,211 82,280

2000 1,407 45,657 2,172 37,239 3,579 82,896

2001 1,820 12,762 1,347 17,741 3,167 30,503

2002 1,746 599,383 1,335 30,493 3,081 629,876

2003 1,232 114,624 1,607 74,381 2,839 189,005

2004 1,227 45,966 1,396 176,537 2,623 222,503

2005 1,635 137,930 214 252,074 1,849 390,004

Total 27,906 20,372 1,460,215 1,138,778 48,278 2,598,993

Source: Southwest Coordination Center

FIRE PENALITIES

• A violation of fire restrictions on federal land could result in a $5,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

• Violation of fire restrictions on state land could result in misdemeanor or felony charges. If convicted of a felony, a person could face up to seven years in prison.

• Someone who starts a fire, intentionally or not, can be held liable for the firefighting costs and other damages in addition to criminal charges.

- Tucson Citizen

RESTRICTIONS & CLOSURES

National Forest lands

Restrictions: All of Coronado National Forest, Red Rock Ranger District in Coconino NF, Bradshaw ranger districts in Prescott NF, most of Tonto NF except an area northeast of Globe

Closures: Portions of Cave Creek, Mesa and Tonto Basin ranger districts of Tonto NF, and Verde Ranger District east of Interstate 17 in Prescott NF.

National Park Service

Restrictions: Campfire and smoking restrictions in Chiricahua National Monument.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Restrictions: Campfire and smoking restrictions within all or portions of various field office jurisdictions. Check with the office in the area you are visiting or working.

Closed: Agua Fria National Monument.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Restrictions: Along Colorado River within Imperial, Cibola, Bill Williams River and Havasu national wildlife refuges.

State of Arizona

Campfire and smoking restrictions statewide on Arizona State Land Department lands and within wildlife areas in southern Arizona managed by the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

ON THE WEB

• For tips on reducing your fire risk, go to this story online at www.tucsoncitizen.com.

• For National Forest information, go to www.fs.fed.us/r3.

(This information did not run with the story)

Campfires

• Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves. Pile extra wood away from the fires.

• Keep plenty of water handy and have a shovel for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.

• Start with dry twigs and small sticks.

• Add larger sticks as the fire builds up.

• Put the largest pieces of wood on last, pointing them toward the center of the fire, and gradually push them into the flames.

• Keep the campfire small. A good bed of coals or a small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of heat. Scrape away litter, dead organic matter and any burnable material within a 10-foot-diameter circle. This will keep a small campfire from spreading.

• Be sure your match is out. Hold it until it is cold. Break it so that you can feel the charred portion before discarding it. Make sure it is cold out. Conserve matches: Carry a candle as a fire starter.

• Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.

• Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet. Move rocks because there may be burning embers underneath.

• Stir the remains, add more water and stir again. Be sure all burned material has been extinguished and cooled. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough soil or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cooled.

• Feel all materials with your bare hand. Make sure that no roots are burning. Do not bury your coals; they can smolder, and a fire can break out.

Charcoal briquets

• After using the burning charcoal briquets, “dunk ‘em!” Don’t sprinkle. Soak the coals with lots of water; stir them and soak again. Be sure they are out – cold! Carefully feel the coals with your bare hands to be sure.

Smoking

• When smoking is permitted outdoors, safe practices require at least a 3-foot clearing around the smoker. Grind out your cigarette, cigar or pipe tobacco in the dirt. Never grind it on a stump or log. It is unsafe to smoke while walking or riding a horse or trail bike. Use your ashtray while in your car.

Lanterns, stoves and heaters

• Cool all lanterns, stoves and heaters before refueling. Place them on the ground in a cleared area and fill them. If fuel spills, move the appliance to a new clearing before lighting it. Recap and store flammable liquid containers in a safe place. Never light lanterns and stoves inside a tent, trailer or camper. If you use a lantern or stove inside a tent or trailer, be sure to have adequate ventilation. Always read and follow instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Household trash

• If you must burn trash, don’t pile it on the ground. It will not burn completely and will be easily blown around. Local fire officials can recommend a safe receptacle for burning trash. It should be placed in a cleared area, away from overhead branches and wires.

• Never attempt to burn aerosol cans; heated cans will explode. Flying metal from an exploding can might cause an injury. Burning trash scattered by such an explosion has caused the spread of many fires.

Debris

• Check local laws on burning. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours.

• Check the weather; don’t burn on dry, windy days.

• Consider the alternatives to burning. Some types of debris – such as leaves, grass and stubble – may be of more value if used for compost. Household items such as plastics, glass, paper and aluminum cans can be recycled or hauled to a landfill.

Spark arresters

• All types of equipment and vehicles are required to have spark arresters. Chain saws, portable generators, cross-country vehicles and trail bikes, to name a few, require spark arresters if used in or near grass, brush or a wooded area. To make sure that the spark arrester is functioning properly, check with the dealer or contact your local Forest Service or state forestry office.

Agricultural residue and forest litter

• Be sure you are fully prepared before burning off your field or garden. To control the fire, you will need a source of water, a bucket and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.

• If possible, a fire line should be plowed around the area to be burned. Large fields should be separated into small plots for burning one at a time. Be sure to stay with your fire until it is out.

• Before doing any burning in a wooded area, contact your local forester. The forester will weigh all factors, explain them to you and offer technical advice.

Sources: The Arizona Republic, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters



 
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