On Saturday, as many as 300 cars parked at the Bengaluru Aero India event were gutted due to an uncontrolled fire. Earlier, reports claimed that the fire could have caused due to a naked flame of a cigarette butt that was thrown in the bushes in the parking lot. A new report claims that the fire was caused by the hot exhaust of a vehicle that was parked in the high bushes.
The fire on 23rd February completely destroyed as many as 278 cars and partially damaged 73 vehicles. Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister inspected the site where the vehicles were parked. She was briefed on the spot that an overheated car silencer could have ignited the fire.
The parking lot was full of tall dry grass which caught the fire and then it spread across the parking lot within a few minutes. The strong winds acted as a catalyst to the fire. This information was passed to the Defence Minister by the Air Force officials, DG Fire Services and the head of Disaster Management Team. The team was investigating the matter and was looking for a source of the fire.
The fire engulfed the whole area within minutes and most of the vehicles parked at the spot could not be saved. The Aero India event took place at the Yelankha airbase. No casualties were reported during the incident.
Tall grass and bushes can be dangerous
Tall dry grass and dry bushes are highly flammable. They can catch fire very easily when they make contact with hot objects. The exhaust of any vehicle can become very hot after driving as the hot exhaust gases leaving the engine can raise the temperature pretty quickly.
Any vehicle that has been driven around for like 30 minutes can have a hot exhaust and the temperature of the exhaust can be enough to easily start a fire. It is always a good idea to park the vehicles clear of such objects and always ensure that nothing is touching the exhaust pipe when the vehicle is parked just after a long drive.
The exhaust system of most vehicles remains naked under the vehicle, which is why even parking the vehicle over dry grass can be dangerous. Always look for a flat surface to park the vehicle when it is hot. Even a piece of cloth or other flammable materials like plastic or a pile of leaves can catch fire due to the hot exhaust.
Driving on such tall grass may not be as such a big problem as the hot exhaust is in contact with the tall grass for only a little time, which is not enough to ignite the grass.
It is not only the materials outside the vehicle that put the vehicle on potential fire risk. Even materials like lighter that can explode in a vehicle parked directly under the sun can start the fire. Always be aware of the things that you leave inside the vehicle and where you park the vehicle to avoid any such consequences.