Earth Day 2013-The Day I Almost Burned Down The Forest

What did I do on the special day set aside to make the planet greener? Actually I helped my Dad burn up a huge pile of brush.

Today wasn’t really the day I almost burned down the forest…that was last week.

Let me start at the beginning.

In Oregon people cut down trees for firewood to keep their homes warm during the long wet, cold winters. Yes it’s true. Not everyone has heat pumps.

About a month ago a good friend of my Dad’s contacted him and told him to cut all the trees down on his 5 acre property. He’s an older gentleman and he worries that they are going to fall on his house in big wind storms. I don’t think he has thought this through fully because how can a tree even 200 feet away crush your house if it decides to fall over? I think he really just wants open fields, but whatever.

Maybe he should move to Kansas.

So, Alan and my dad spent about a week over on this property cutting up potential home wreckers into nice chunks of firewood. In the end they only downed about 5 trees. Mostly because they were tired of running chainsaws and loading wood into the pickup truck, but also because the man changed his mind on some of the trees and reconsidered life on the prairie. While the two worker bees were hacking and slashing they neatly piled all the tree limbs and brush into sweet burn piles to torch at a later date. Which happened to be this past week and because Alan was too busy with other projects fell to me and my Dad. Now I love to burn…I am what you might, maybe, call a slight pyromaniac. Not houses or buildings or people. Nope just brush piles. The bigger, the better.

2013-04-22 14.21.30This pile was the biggest of the 4 piles. This is the one we burned today. On Earth Day. Notice the propane bottle? Well that baby has a torch-burner thing that sets brush like this up blazing inferno style. Diesel? That’s for fire starter wimps! Gasoline? Don’t be foolish! Propane torch all the way.

But lets back up to the first pile we burned. That was a much smaller pile. Sorry I don’t have any photos of that pile. I didn’t think to take pictures. I also didn’t think to have water hose or a chainsaw. Chainsaw? Yes, in case a nearby standing tree catches on fire, a quick thinker could fire up a chainsaw and fall a burning tree so it won’t catch more trees on fire. That’s what my Dad said anyway. But we did have a rake and shovel. If something got out of hand those tools would sure come in handy!

That first pile went up so fast and so hot. Thankfully it wasn’t any bigger and that the wind kept in a favorable direction. Most assuredly, God took pity upon 2 foolish people who should not have been about the business of brush pile burning without proper tools or water hoses. I kept saying, “That tree’s gonna go. That tree’s gonna catch. Oh my, that tree is gonna burn! I’m worried that moss is going to incinerate.” But it didn’t catch…it did scorch though.

2013-04-22 15.18.202013-04-22 15.19.03

I took these photos today. You couldn’t see the damage the day we burned that pile. But here is the proof a few days later, that we were more than blessed not to burn the entire 5 acres to the ground. Sad I know. Funny thing is, the man was laughing and saying, “You don’t need no hose.” I said, “What if it gets out of control?” He replied, ” Let the whole place burn down, I don’t care.” I bet he would care and I bet I’d be sitting in jail for arson.

Well, we went back over and burned 3 more piles over the past couple days. Each time I made sure we had plenty of water pressure and hose. Rakes, shovels, chainsaws and the fire department’s phone number handy. And each time the man said, “You don’t need no hose.”

A Brush Inferno

A Brush Inferno

Aren’t the flames a pretty shade of yellow and orange?

Almost Out

Almost Out


6 thoughts on “Earth Day 2013-The Day I Almost Burned Down The Forest

  1. My wife keeps telling me to gather the branches and burn them. I tell her we live to close to the forest, that’s dangerous, so I cut them up in smaller pieces burn them in a drum. Stand around and watch with a rake and a garden hose. You were dam lucky.

  2. Hi, Lori! My Funny Little Fire Bug! Remember the piles up in O’Brien and 20 acres of junk? You even melted down TV’s till they were molten glass! Did your allergies flare up, along with the brush piles? Love ya! Mom

    • We shouldn’t mention those TV’s with it being so close to Earth Day and all that. That was funny though, I remember saying,”Oh that musta been a color TV since it is burning all those pretty colors.” Such a young foolish person I was 20 years ago!

  3. Pingback: How The Earth Sought Out Vengeance | Sunny Side Up

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