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Country Discussion Topics
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To late for this home! 6 lost so far! Picture
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Willy-N    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:01:20       [Reply]  [No Email]

This is one of the homes lost. There are 6 Plus gone so far. Mark H.

Clod    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:13:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is sad,,They need to find better methods to fight fires.

Salmoneye    Posted 07-17-2003 at 05:35:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't get it...

The technology is there to keep wildfire from taking a house...I have seen it many times on TV (PBS I think)...

You need a fire break at least 100 yards (maybe it was feet) around the house...You never put a combustible material on the roof...Metal would make sense to me here...There are drip water systems that will pump water to the peak through small tubes and run water down the whole roof and sides of the building...Looks like perforated garden hose...A small generator to run the pump and you do not have to worry about the power going out...

I just don't get anyone building where there is the potential to burn down every few years without taking basic precautions...

And who the heck is dumb enough to insure a place like that?

But then again...I don't get living in a mobile home in Tornado Alley or living in the flood plain of the mighty Mississippi either...

Hal/WA    Posted 07-18-2003 at 00:12:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the defensible area distance would vary with what kind of surroundings you have and the direction of the prevailing winds. In a dense pine forest in near-desert Eastern Washington, 100 yards might not be a bad choice. With pasture or hayfields surrounding your buildings, 50 feet would probably be fine. Grass fires can move very fast and are real hot, but usually they are just a very hot line, with a much cooler burned area a short distance behind the actual fire. I fought some standing grain fires when I was a fireman and they are really scary, with a wall of fire about 30 feet high moving at more than 20 miles an hour. I was always told that if you get caught in front of such a fire, it was not possible to outrun it and the only way to survive was to run back through the wall of fire and then plan to roll on the ground to put out your burning clothes.

A real forest fire around here during the very dry months is nearly impossible to control. Most of the forest land has deep accumulations of pine needles which continue to burn for a long time after the initial fire has gone through. One of the scariest things I ever experienced was having a wind-driven forest fire crown above my brush rig. The fire jumps from tree to tree way above the ground and the dry pine needles combust almost explosively. And then you need to worry about the ground fire.

Metal roofs are a great idea for any building in the country from the standpoint of fire safety. However you have to plan for snow sliding off a metal roof. I put a composition roof on my new house because a sheet metal roof would have cost me a bunch more money when I had it done. When I have to reroof, it will be with sheet metal though. I have a generator that takes less than 10 minutes to get set up to keep my pump running. Often when we get fires in the area, the power goes off. It would be a real bummer to have a fire approaching and not have any water to deal with spot fires. I also have no bushes around my house and have a gravel border with plastic under it so there is nothing to burn up close to the house. I mow the grass short around all my buildings and have removed almost all the pine trees from the building site.

I have lived on the same property for more than 40 years. During that time, no large scale fires have occurred, although it appeared from burned bark on the pine trees when we moved here that a pretty good fire went through sometimes in the 1950's. We are probably due.....

I hope the things I have done to prepare for a fire would allow me to save most of my buildings. There are always other things to do, but I think I have done the most pressing steps.

Clod    Posted 07-17-2003 at 06:52:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Salmoneye,You think diffrently than many.Like that old Greek guy Aesop said.An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Salmoneye    Posted 07-17-2003 at 07:51:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think Willy has the best ideas I have seen so far for saving his place from wildfire...He at least is prepared to help himself when no one else can or will...

I'm assuming his people came from New England at one time...


Willy-N    Posted 07-17-2003 at 08:06:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
They still laugh (Maybe not now) at my perminent 45 Gal Per Min sprinklers up on my roofs and 6,000 gal water supply. There was a picture of this guy with a garden hose spraying it into the wind in a big feild of tall grass??? There will be some that now say it won't happen for a lot of years now so I don't need the extra protection? Mark H.

Willy-N    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:20:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
It is the people who do not keep there places free of trees and weeds that causes a lot of them to burn. There has not been a fire there for somany years the brush builds up and some sparks do the rest. Where this fire is right now people were saying a few years ago glad we don't live up where you do because of wild fires. Now it is in there area. It can happen anywhere anytime. It is sad. Budgets are being cut and we don't have the equipment. Millions will be spent on this fire but we can't have any for equipment to stop them. Mark H.

Hal/WA    Posted 07-16-2003 at 21:48:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
No kidding. It is a lot of work to keep down the brush and leave a defensable space, but it is the ONLY THING that might save your house if a wind driven range fire approaches.

The kind of roof you have makes a lot of difference too. Split cedar shakes look nice and last a long time, but burn extremely easily if embers fall on them in a fire situation. Some years ago, we had a big fire go through a subdivision that had woods around it and lots of pine trees among the houses. It was eerie to drive through that area a few days later and see an occasional standing house surrounded by burned out foundations. The houses that survived had composition roofs. Most of the houses that burned had shake roofs. I think it is crazy to put on a shake roof in a wooded area or one that might be in danger from a brush fire.

I know that you are prepared to take care of your place if a fire goes through. It is the only way to go, since most fire departments quickly become completely overwhelmed when confronted with a big brush fire. You have to help yourself.

Hope the fire is controlled soon and no more houses burn. Good luck!

Ron,Ar    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:33:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do they know how this one started? I aggravates me to no end to hear one was deliberatly set. Hope you stay safe.

Willy-N    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:41:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
We do have a arsonest in the area we are tring to catch. Don't know how this one started. Not lightning so must be started by somebody?? Mark H.

Ron,Ar    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:47:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well it sounds like arson all right, hope not, bad enough anyway ya look at it. We got hurricanes, tornados, floods and drought to deal with, all natural disasters, then some idiot wants to play with fire, just to watch it burn I guess. Makes ya want to set him on fire don't it.

toolman    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:46:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
we had dry lightning here in southeast b.c all last night, heard on the scanner something about the bomber that crashed in cranbrook started another fire but havent been able to find out much since, high winds an real dry here too, keeps ya up late huh mark

Willy-N    Posted 07-16-2003 at 20:52:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
I did not hear about the wreck till just now. I feel for the familys of the Fire Fighters. I have no mercy for a arson. Won't sleep much tonight for sure! It is so dry and the winds are not helping at all! Mark H.

Cindi    Posted 07-16-2003 at 21:00:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I hate the dry season for just that reason. I spent hours last year watering down the perimeter of my property against nearby brush fires. One bad thing about being so far out in the sticks.

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