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BLM: Sparks from vehicles a top cause of Idaho wildfires

Sparks thrown from a trailer chain sparked a 350-acre wildfire along I-84 near Jerome on Monday, officials said.

BOISE, Idaho — As wildfire season gets into full swing across the West, Idaho officials are warning about the dangers caused by vehicles passing through areas with dry brush.

Jared Jablonski, a fire information officer with the Bureau of Land Management's Boise District, told KTVB on Tuesday that sparks thrown from vehicles is one of the top causes of wildfires in the region.

"One of the things that you really need to pay attention to is how you hook your chains up to your trailers," Jablonski said. "When you hook your chains up, it's important to make sure the chains aren't dragging and it's important to make sure nothing [dragging] underneath your vehicle that could ignite sparks that could cause wildfires."

BLM officials said a fire that broke out Monday along Interstate 84 near Jerome was caused by a vehicle dragging a chain, which threw sparks into the dry grass. The Jay Fire burned about 350 acres before it was controlled on Tuesday.

RELATED: Wildfire forecaster sees late start for Idaho forest fires

It doesn't take much in the way of heat or sparks to ignite dry vegetation along many Idaho roadways.

"Especially cheat grass which is an extremely flammable fuel when it dries out and it can easily be ignited by just one tiny spark," Jablonski said.

The BLM also recommends that travelers check to make sure their tires are in good shape. A flat could cause the rim to hit the ground and send off sparks.

BLM crews are working with the Idaho Transportation Department to create fire breaks along side roads, giving more space between vehicles and flammable vegetation.

MORE: Boise Wildland Fire Academy prepares new recruits for the upcoming fire season