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February 12, 2015, which was a Friday seemed like a good day to burn a pile of brush I had been building. This was vines, cherry cherry laurel, some young sweet gum trees,,, just an assortment of stuff.

The fire caught the grass on fire which was expected. I started stomping the grass fire out as it spread away from the main fire.

A combination of dry conditions and a slight breeze caused the grass fire to spread faster than I could contain it.


Jumped in my truck, raced to the house, grabbed the kitchen and boat fire extinguisher, which help contain maybe a 50 foot section.

Luckily my cousin heard the commotion and came over. With his help we were able to contain the fire when it was maybe 10 feet from a tree line. If the fire had hit the tree line there would have been no way to contain it.
 

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I had the same thing happen to me about 7 years ago. Luckily I had heavy gloves and a 4x6 sheet of plywood to help swat out the fire. It spread so fast that if I didn't have that plywood it would have burned about 30 acres. The tree lines had live grass and dirt so I hope it would have stopped there.

Very scary and easy to see how fire can be a shtf moment!
 

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That's why I'm starting to keep an aerosol fire extinguisher can in my vehicle's emergency bag. You never know when you'll need to put out a fire, and when you need to, nothing else short of massive quantities of water will work as well. You can get two on Amazon right now for about $15.
 

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good to hear you got it out

Before I start, i am a qualified wildland firefighter and teach fire classes on the state and federal level. I will be the first to admit there is always more to learn, about fire AND life.


One issue i see covered very sparsely on this website is the use and knowledge of fire.
i joined the group this morning after years of lurking so i could post to this topic (and others).

Most people who fight escaped fire try not to fight it fairly! And by that I mean we take advantage of fires tendency to burn rapidly in grass and slower (but longer) in forest cover.
Another poster mentioned a water pack, great tool for fighting fire because it rapidly takes heat out. Another tool most have that if used properly is my go to, is a backpack blower.
I say if used properly because if it is used wrong it causes more headaches than it cures.

Enough for now, willing to discuss...
Midmo
 

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All of the above comments reminded me of a story a co-worker told me many years ago. The co-worker was a kid just out of college and off the farm in Oklahoma. When he was in in his early teens, he found a dead possum in the backyard of the farmhouse which was surrounded by dry wheat fields on all sides waiting for harvest.

Can't just leave a dead animal in the yard, so he went and got a cup of gasoline and set that possum on fire. Lo and behold, the possum wasn't dead - he was just (wait for it) "playing possum". That possum jumped up and started running for the wheat - just a ball of fire and four legs. This kid didn't know what to do so he took off running after it. He got a little ahead of it and then turned around and kicked that blazing possum. The possum spun around and took off in another direction. This went on for about two or three more times before the poor critter expired. :eek:

After seeing my expression of amazement he explained that if that possum had set the wheat on fire his papa would have shot him and his mama would have loaded the gun. Needless to say, this kid was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Since I grew up in the country surrounded by crop fields, I explained to him that the proper way to dispose of a dead animal in the yard was to get a shovel and either heave it into the field or bury it in the field and let nature do the rest. :rolleyes:
 

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I feel for ya... I hate that feeling of "oh crap" you get. Next time, mow around the pile a good distance away and wet the grass that you've mowed. This will really help to contain it. Always have a means of putting out a fire available before you actually need it... even if you have to get 300ft of hose.
 

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Yeah! There isn't anything more embarrassing than having to call the volunteer fire department to put out your mistake. :eek::
As one of those volunteers, I can assure you that embarrassment will be fairly low on your list of issues if a fire you started gets out of hand because of your carelessness.

First, those of your neighbors who take fire seriously enough to actually bother being on the list of volunteers will have to drop whatever we're doing, go get our equipment and rush to your aid (even if we were doing something a lot more important than you were).

Then, if we can't put it out and get it all cleaned up in the 4 hours it takes the state crew to arrive with better equipment and guys who actually get paid to clean up after you, you're going to get a significant bill, probably at least into the low 5 figures.

Then, you better make a significant donation to our volunteer dept., compensate your neighbors for anything of theirs you burned up, and otherwise demonstrate that you learned your lesson and take responsibility for your actions, or we are going to remember it for a very long time.

Fortunately, it's easy to avoid all that with just a little bit of common sense and preparedness thinking. In a nutshell, don't be an idiot: If everything is tinder-dry, it's a really bad idea to let the sparks from your grinder shoot into the dry grass and pine needles in your yard. And, if you're not ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you're adequately prepared to deal with anything a fire might conceivably be able to do after you light that match, DON'T LIGHT IT!
 

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did you go to a liberal firefighting college. WTF are you talking about. "more to learn about fire AND life." someone lit a pile without using common sense and put firefighters life on the line when he did. and fire speed depends on wind and topography, not what fuel its burning.

Before I start, i am a qualified wildland firefighter and teach fire classes on the state and federal level. I will be the first to admit there is always more to learn, about fire AND life.


One issue i see covered very sparsely on this website is the use and knowledge of fire.
i joined the group this morning after years of lurking so i could post to this topic (and others).

Most people who fight escaped fire try not to fight it fairly! And by that I mean we take advantage of fires tendency to burn rapidly in grass and slower (but longer) in forest cover.
Another poster mentioned a water pack, great tool for fighting fire because it rapidly takes heat out. Another tool most have that if used properly is my go to, is a backpack blower.
I say if used properly because if it is used wrong it causes more headaches than it cures.

Enough for now, willing to discuss...
Midmo
 

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learning

After working in wild and prescribed fire for over 20 years Jim, i can always learn something new.
i didnt attend a liberal fire college but i did get a science degree from what some would now consider a liberal college after the University of Missouri is in the news almost daily.
My fire education is through the federal fire courses offered through NWCG across the country.
You said fire only spreads by wind and topography? So i am assuming the fuels it is burning in is of no concern?
Funny, that isnt how any wildfire is fought. Not intending to argue, but the three things we teach that impact fire spread, intensity and residence is 1. weather (wind) 2. Topography 3 and FUELS... BUT WHATEVER.
Backwoodsman? I could teach a 5 day class on safety with brushpile burning. Some of the basics have been touched on, dont burn on dry windy days, put a fireline around your brushpile, keep a hose handy.
i burned more than three truckloads of multifloral rose, cedars and sumac today. There was 3 inches of snow on the ground. The fire is still burning now at 8pm and I just checked on it and "stimulated" the pile with a backpack blower. Helps get the fire active again and it blows the ash out of the burn area so native plants will have a chance to re-colonate the area.
I appreciate the intrest in a topic i work on every day through my job and at home on my days off.
 

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shortly after I moved into my current domicile I was trying to burn a ditchbank and it got away. started to the trees and only a shift in the wind saved me. I had bucket of water (too far from hose) and hose/rake but it still got away from me.

no more ditchbank burning for me.
 

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midmo, i said fire SPEED depends on wind and topography. i didnt say " fire only spreads by wind and topography". but thanks for your liberal spin on what i did say. you said
" And by that I mean we take advantage of fires tendency to burn rapidly in grass and slower (but longer) in forest cover."

if a grass fire is burning with 0 wind and a brush fire is burning with 10 mph wind, the brush fire will burn faster. a fire burning up a hill with 0 wind will burn faster than 1 on flat ground with 0 wind. a big enough fire will create its own weather. have you actually fought a fire or was it all book learning. i was a first saw on a hotshot crew for 5 fire seasons so i have some experience.
 
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