Monday, February 9, 2009

Where's the fire when you need it?

As I watched the 6 o'clock news about the deadly fires in Australia, I thought about all the energy I expended today trying to get my brush piles to burn.

I started the day with three piles. Two of the piles were each about the size and volume of a two-car garage. The third was smaller, about the size of an automobile. After a full day of trying to ignite the piles with burning tires, old crankcase oil and diesel fuel, the only pile that was reduced was the small one. The two large piles remain essentially in tact. I even tried the old trick of using a leaf blower to fan the flames.

Even though it hasn't rained in a week, I knew the wood in the piles was still wet, but I thought it would burn if I could get a hot enough fire going. No dice.

I'm always amazed at the stories of forest fires, how easily they are started. When I called the U.S. Forestry Service to get my burn permit, the ranger said there would be a slight wind in the afternoon so I shouldn't leave the fire unattended. Though I tended and tended, I still have my brush piles.

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