Friday, 10 August 2018

Before fire season

Earlier in the week the local Fire Service announced that due to the on going dry conditions the start of the fire season was being brought forward from 1 October to 1 September.  It was very good to get some notice of that change as we have (or, updating slightly, had) a pretty large pile of non-compostable things to get rid of.
 Looking at weather forecast the best day (little wind) appeared to be 10 August. After putting notices on a couple of community social media channels, letterboxing a few people who may have missed those and letting the Fire Service know I was ready to go.

On the afternoon of the 9th I joined up various hoses (giving a total length of 65m ) to assist in keeping things under control.  Of course I omitted step 1 - draining one of the hoses.  This meant that after a low temperature of -2.8oC there was about 45m of ice between the tap and the desired outlet.  So a few buckets of hot water were needed to allow me to go with the flow.

That was all sorted.  We had also noticed that the weather forecast had changed a tad with stronger winds foreshadowed, so the dog walk was shortened and a match was applied to some paper at 0817.
 Yep, we had ignition.
 By 0824 (7 minutes after ignition) it had raised to conflagration level.  Given the proportion of the heap that I rated as weeds rather than prunings, I was very surprised how little smoke was generated.
That being said  a military chopper flew over quite low and appeared to have a look.  I wondered whether one of our neighbours in that line of work spotted the smoke and decided to check the situation

By 0835 things were calming down.
 By 0912 there was almost no flame visible, but still quite a lot of heat coming off.
By 1030 no flame was visible but the wind had got up as forecast.  So several buckets of water were got from the dam and applied to the perimeter of the ashy heap.  Much hissing and generation of steam!  Then the hose - remember the frozen hose - came into operation and thoroughly soaked everything.  I shall check later but I reckon that job is over for another year.
I got a couple of good snaps of the sunset tonight -  and as the first looks rather like the flame shot above I have included them here.


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