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Country Discussion Topics
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Are you prepared for Fire in the Country??
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Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 11:50:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Are you prepared for FIRE in the country? How are you prepared and what have you done to get ready if it happens? Read my post below if you don't think it can happen to you, it did to me and a lot of others lost everything. Most places do not have a Fire Hydrant sitting at the end of their drive way like in the city. How are you going to put it out? Is someone else going to do it? Mark H.

Dick Hayhurst    Posted 06-22-2002 at 20:27:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello Mark,we live in thick bush with no close neighbours,our water supply is stored rainwater of which we have a full capacity of 14,000 gal,I put 5hp briggs & stratton pumps on 2 of the tanks,(there are equaliser pipes connecting them all).We've got sprinklers on the roof and I've cleared 60ft around the shack.We also have a fire-dam,which is useless as it goes dry in the summer.If fire is imminent block the downpipes (small sand bags) and keep the gutters filled with water.Fill wash-basins and baths.Close drapes Stay inside as the fire front goes through,then go out and kill spot fires started by falling burning leaves(keep a backpack handy).You won't be able to breath so have your mouth masked with something wet and wear goggles.The first thing that happens here (South Australia)is they turn the power off in the area so all fire appliances must be gas powered.I'm sure you already know all of this but I thought it was best to say just in case.

Spence    Posted 03-13-2002 at 18:01:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
One of the major reasons to keep fighting the rodent problems. These little devils are the main reason for house fires in the country in our parts. They love to chew on wire insulation. This is why I've been trying to get the wire people to come up with a taste repellent wire insulation for rural housing.

Spence    Posted 03-13-2002 at 18:00:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
One of the major reasons to keep fighting the rodent problems. These little devils are the main reason for house fires in the country in our parts. They love to chew on wire insulation. This is why I've been trying to get the wire people to come up with a taste repellent wire insulation for rural housing.

kraig WY    Posted 03-12-2002 at 07:26:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Gotta agree with you, last summer I was evacuated by the Forest Service cause my place was surrounded by fire. Becasue of over grassing fires didn't cross my fences. Later I found out that a guy I haul a tractor to in N. California (Don the Hilbilly) got cought. He lost over $100,000 in old tractors and other personal property. After three fires in as many years in these black hills, I'll looking for a crawler to make my own fire breaks

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-12-2002 at 08:51:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
That was one of the reasons our place was saved. The cows keep the grass in the pastures real short!! The Sherif told my wife and daughter to leave and she said can't leave who is going to take care of the critters. Infact Shelby kept moving the cows from one area that was burning to another area that was burnt allready. Tough kid for being 16 years old but like she said I have a lot of time and money into my cows and I have to take care of them. I ain't leaving. We did have to leave for 30 miniuts when the fire over run us but went right back in and put out the hot spots that were burning. Our safe zone was handy we could watch the place from there and knew just when we could go back in. Mark H.

kraig WY    Posted 03-12-2002 at 09:16:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kind of a funny antidote. I'm kind of the laughing stock of the valley with trying to grow corn w/out water. Normally gets about kneehigh. Any way I had about 4 stocks that I watered several times a day with the intent of entering it in the fair (the fire was during our county fair). Anyway on the last trip out with critters, I remembered the corn, stopped the trailer to go back for it. Firemen said to hold up because a slurry bomber was comming over the house. After it passed I ran back to the corn patch next to the house. Everybody thought I was nuts for saving a few stocks of corn (dozzer got the rest). Got first place in the fair with my corn.

Just a hummerious note.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-12-2002 at 09:36:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thats funny! The only things I took from the house because of time was the Computer box, Family photos and papers, all the cash, wifes bussiness files, and of course my guns in case I needed some fast cash I could hock them. I was out tring to get people out of there homes at the last minuite while my wife and daughter was taking care of the place. When I finley said it's time to go home and deal with my own, I told them to pack up the dogs and go to the safe zone and wait for me. That was when it got real quiet in my mine standing there watching it get close. I ran inside and started grabing things to take and looking out the window seeing the flames getting BIG and closer to the house. Then I stood and watched the fire cover 40 acs in a couple of mins coming at me I said a small prayer jumped in the car when I saw the fire jump the fire trail and hoped for the best. You should have seen it that fire looked like the gates of he11 coming at you and it was real LOUD too. It made you feel real small standing in front of mother nature! It blew the plans for the fair that year and maybe Shelby can show one of her steers this year!! Mark H.

bufman    Posted 03-11-2002 at 18:22:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do have a feeling some people who posted are from the city. Well i am prepared the dozer and excavator are on standby also the gas powered 350 gpm pump is on standby.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 18:34:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well now I don't feel so bad! People used to laught when I spent time mowing, pruning and rakeing all around the place during the summer. They used to call me the yuppie farmer, haft of those people don't have a home now. Try getting a Bulldozer to cut you a fire line when it is coming over the hill and everyone wants one at the same time. I wonder what a Farmer would do seeing his feilds burn just befor harvest time. Do you think he would get out the tractors and cut a line? You bet he would and he would fight for his livestock too. Seeing your barn burn with animals in it is depressing to say the least and to just have a garden hose that you have to find and pull out of the weeds that leaks and is small in size won't help much. I wish I had a dozer on the place. My Ferguson dose keep the fire trails clean. Mark H.

TB    Posted 03-11-2002 at 17:49:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Mark. Along with keeping the leaves gathered up and brush trimmed back a good distance there is a series of roads and well-used paths around the area witch make good firebreaks. We have also built a water tank for behind an ATV .Its a plastic 55gal drum laying on its side a 3.5 HP motor with a sprayer pump that has a pressure relief valve 2 garden hoses plumbed in one 10' and one 100' mounted on a frame with 15" car tires. We also have it plumbed so we can draft out of a creek or stream. Itís our own personal Quick attack piece. And is also used for the garden at times of drought. We also belong to a volunteer fire Co.

bob    Posted 03-12-2002 at 06:23:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
something I have alaways wanted to do is put 1000 gal plastic tank underground on mt big hill for fire protection if it get stagnant use it on garden. I live in city limits but on edge Neighbor,s house burnt and fire department brought out a foldup tank and hauled water from river block away . Was surprised at little water they used As far as a grass fire they can be real bad and here we use a disc and make fire breaks but hope wind don,t switch keep weeds and junk down half the battle

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 17:55:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
That makes a good set up too. Even a pea bag helps, I know I filled it many times during the fire. I had a fire break too but it jumped it, it did slow it down quite a bit because it had to get going again. Nothing wrong with being over prepaired it is being under prepaired that hurts later. Mark H.

mike    Posted 03-11-2002 at 17:18:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have plenty of fire insurance,and let it burn.
Nothing you can do to stop any natural disaster.

kraig WY    Posted 03-12-2002 at 07:33:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Never seen an insurance company pay for memories. Lots of tractors around but how would I replace my late uncle's10-20 he had since before I was born. I'm sorry but I wont give up that easy.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 17:51:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I had plenty of insurance also. In fact they paid me for the burned trees and clean/up. They even paid for haft of the tank and pump set up because I had it put in during the fire to help put it out. But I did not want to lose my home, shop, barn and place of bussiness all at the same time. Also did not want to live in a motel while I hoped the insurance company rebuilt and replaced what I had befor. The 9 homes that got burned in the fire haven't been replaced yet and it has been 6 months since the fire. These people now live in town. I guess it is that independent attitude I have that won't let me give up with out a fight. That's why I fight fires during the summer you learn more each time you go out on one. When you save someones place it makes you feel good to. Now if your kid was in the house would you let it burn and collect the insurance?? Mark H.

Mike    Posted 03-12-2002 at 13:49:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
No I wouldn't like it,but I wouldn't come on
here and whine about it either.Bad things
happen to a lot of people,some a lot worse
than your problem. You will come out of this
fine,and look back someday and it won't seem
so bad.My parents were both murdered a few
years ago in a home invasion,but in life you
take what you get.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-12-2002 at 15:12:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am not realy whining about it. I came out just fine in this fire. I hope by talking about it may get someone else to give it some thought. As far as my father I lost him when I was eleven years old that was 39 years ago and my mother was a few years ago, that hasen't change my outlook on life just made me think about how I want to go when I saw her go. Life dishes out all kinds of sh1t, you get used to it. Heck people complain about Yuppies on this board all the time. I figure if you don't want to read it don't, if you not interested in the subject why waist your time ansering the posts. The posts don't show up till you click on them and that is a choice anyone can make. By posting you will get some good responces and some bad ones too. If I don't like a post I just go on to the next one. Mark H.

Bob /Ont.    Posted 03-11-2002 at 13:23:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Mark. That was a good message to post here, since I get the feeling that a lot of people on this board are new to living in the country. We have lived in town for 27yrs now, the neighbours are good here, but that applies any where. Lots of people retire to that little piece of heaven they found on a vacation and get some supprises when they move in I think. It's nice to have lots of space, but you still need good neighbours especially in time of cricis which can be often.
It takes some getting used to for some, that you need to do more for your self out there. I don't usually hire things done, guess the reasons are divided evenly between, where I came from, being fussy and being too Scotch.
By now Bob.

Sammie    Posted 03-11-2002 at 14:38:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I guess in that aspect, I DON:T live in the country cuz I DO have a fire hydrant at the corner of my yard. It can still happen though. I have 2 wells and that is what was used to put out the fire when the little boy next door caught my trees on fire. Had it been late fall or early spring when the irrigation pumps were turned off for the winter, I could have lost alot before the Fire Dept. finally got here. The hydrant may be there but the Fire Dept. is all volunteer and the station is quite a ways away. Now I have city water in the house but not outside yet.

Good subject, Do people who live way out there have water tanks or towers? I always wondered.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 15:07:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yes I do have a 6,000 Gal Tank that can be filled or pumped out of by a fire truck. Most Brush rigs only have 250-300 gals on them and that dosen't go far. In a hot fast moving fire like ours was a well driving a garden hose would not do that much good due to wind being able to blow the water away from the fire. We had 30 mph winds blowing and flames over 100 ft tall and trees crowning you don't want just a garden hose during that time. You need something that can put a stream out about 50-75 feet and lots of gals per minite behind it. You need to wet things down fast having hoses ready at all time is nessasary at all times of the year even during the winter. That's where a big tank helps with a large pump to push the water. Even a big fire truck will only hold 500-2000 gals unless they bring in a tanker and they are real slow in getting there if there is a hill to come up. Once a fire is spread around resorses are short in supply and you better have some of your own. I also have a portable pump and a 250 gal tank for my truck that I keep ready it takes a long time to strech out hose to the lower 40 or carry 5 gal buckets for hot spots! Mark H.

Sammie    Posted 03-11-2002 at 20:22:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My little .9 acre isn't nearly as big as most of yours and this area is developing really fast, that's why we just got city water last year. But it is still all I have and have put alot into it. In the summer we are pretty green with the pasture being watered and the horses keep it eaten down very well so I'm not too worried about a wild fire out there. I have one close neighbor and my row of trees between. Those are the ones that caught on fire and nope, the garden hose really wasn't enough but it did keep it from spreading to the houses. I still lost 5 trees before we got it out.

How do you keep your water supply from freezing up in the winter?

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-11-2002 at 20:52:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello; The trees and brush on the property next to mine is what got my place going to! I have my tank under ground below the frost line. It has a 4 inch pipe that goes down to the top for filling and a 2 inch pipe to the bottom for pumping from. This way no water can freeze in the pipe or tank. All my hoses are dry and folded for fast pull out with nozzels on them. I have one set up with the valve inside so the water won't be in the pipe during the winter. Most of our fire problems are wild fires that start some where else. I have several freeze proof spickets in several places with hoses on hooks coiled up with a nozzle on them. I never use these hoses that way they are allways there. I take them in during the winter and put them back out as soon as it starts to get dry. If your grass is good and green and mowed or ate down that works good. Your problem is a fire in stuff that might burn near the house or a shake roof instead of metal. A perminet sprinkler on the roof is nice you can turn it on and leave and things will stay damp if you have to go. If you have porches it is nice to have sprinklers to turn on and set on them to keep them wet too. It is a good idea to plan ahead and see what your hoses can get to in case you need them. Have a few extra ones just in case with nozzles on them. You would be supprized how fast you have to move to get a jump on a fire and you do not want to go look for hoses. Even a fruit sprayer filled with water can put little spots out if ashes start it. Most of all have a plan and practice once each year and you will get it down for when you need it and you won't have to think about it. I had 6 years to plan and it came in real handy. Figure out a couple of safe zones to go to with your animals if you have time to do it. Just plan ahead and you will be better off. Mark H.

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