ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Recent fires on South Georgia farms caused by catalytic converters have firefighters cautioning motorists about driving and parking off paved surfaces.
They say the catalytic converter underneath your car, which is responsible for reducing exhaust emissions, can reach upward of 1,200 degrees in a matter of minutes.
If you drive your car off road where grass or other flammable materials can come in contact with the metal, a fire could spark before you know it.
"Most of the time when you find out that it's on fire, it's under the car. And you'll see smoke coming from the car, but most of the time it's on fire then. And sometimes when you're sitting on the side of the road talking, you won't find out until it's done ignited the car," said Bat. Chief Arthur Dyer, Albany Fire Department.
Dyer said even green grass can rapidly turn brittle and flammable during the summer. He said you should avoid driving off paved surfaces. He also said you should turn off your vehicle if you have to pull to the side of the road.