Smokers Urged to Save Their Butts; ODOT Cautions Drivers

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Dry weather conditions and sky-rocketing temperatures are sparking wildfire concerns. With fire warnings popping up all over the state, drivers are now being asked to do their part in eliminating wildfires.

"If you are in your car try please try to save that cigarette butt, leave it in your car. You can make sure it's out and throw it away," said ODOT spokeswoman Amanda Lee.

On Sunday, 29 ODOT signs across Greater Cleveland started flashing a new message warning motorists not to toss lit cigarettes onto the roadway.

Smokers like John Begin understand the risk a quick flick could cause.

"It's littering anyway, you don't want to do that, it's wrong," said Begin. "I'm praying for rain, the water company is making a fortune right now."

Avon Fire Department Captain Rodney Meadows said, "Everything is so dry, any type of cigarette butt, ashes, or coals would ignite the dander very quickly."

Captain Meadows says firefighters have been busy responding to heat-related fires.

"In the past several weeks, we responded to a couple house fires due to the fact mulch has ignited and caught the structures on fire," said Meadows.