Sunday, May 9, 2010

Burning slash piles with a fire truck standing by

We've resumed thinning trees, which means very soon we'll be cramped for space again. Slash piles take up a lot of useful area, and get in the way of skidding logs out of the woods.

It's still wet enough on our property to burn those piles of slash. They're not large by logging standards, mostly limbs from pruning, and logs up to 7" diameter. But they are as much as 8 years old, and dry. The flames can reach easily 20-25 feet high when the piles really get going.

We burned 9 piles Saturday that were not that old, but nonetheless very dry and among trees we plan to keep. So we borrowed a neighbor's fire truck. Yes, you read right. Actually he has two. This is the smaller one, a brush truck. It's compact, for logging roads, so we can get it back into the property.

The fires themselves were not much to look at -- especially after a few hours, when they were reduced to a 12' diameter circle of white ash. So here's another photo of the brush truck.


We had family up to the mountains for Mother's Day on Sunday. Our two-year-old granddaughter enjoyed seeing the fire truck, along with playing in the mud. She's also developing a liking for tractors, which could come in handy someday when I need a helper. For now, we all had a great time picnicking in the sun and walking among the wildflowers.

Once everyone had left, it was time to burn more piles. The fires were very well behaved, so we had no actual necessity of the truck, other than it being extremely handy for dousing the ashes before we left the place for the week. It was good practice starting the water pump and climbing a hill pulling 50 feet of fire hose and nozzle. I hope never to need to do it in a hurry.

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