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  1. #1
    Super Star Member
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    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
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    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    The Help with Brush Fire Water Rig thread has me thinking of our situation, we frequently have fairly large bonfires "out back" (in the middle of a grassy field) and I am looking to make a "water rig" for next year in case one gets out of control and needs containment.
    Raw materials on hand:
    • 2" trash pump
    • 25' of 2" layflat line
    • ~8 feet of suction line
    • 35 gallon drum mounted in a cradle on a "garden cart" (has a 3/4" pipe out the bottom of the drum)
    • 3500# trailer axle on a trailer that will be scrapped soon (popup frame that someone tried to make into a flatbed)
    • Toro Workman 2100 (rated to carry ~1200# in the 5'x4' bed or tow the same amount)
    • Couple of tractors (see the list of the left), all of which could tow 2500# without much fuss
    • 1980s vintage Yamaha electric golf cart
    • Stream with a small pond ~500' from the fire spot (~2' deep and 10'x8' for most of the summer)

    I am debating which of the following setups would be better:
    1. Use the axle, the pump and a 300 gallon tote (would have to buy) to make a water trailer with a mounted pump
    2. Use 2-3 of 55 gallon drums (can get for free) to make a skid that will fit into the back of the Toro and connect the drums in series to the pump
    3. Put 12v pump onto the existing 35 gallon drum

    My thoughts on the three options:
    • Option 1:
      Upsides: Can unload a lot of water in a hurry, just hitch and go
      Downsides: Cant tow the trailer with the Toro or a golf cart when full (have to pull behind one of the tractors), filling partway will cause much sloshing.
    • Option 2:
      Upsides: Can unload a lot of water in a hurry, very mobile
      Downsides: Will be a pain to load and unload, will restrict what can be done with the Toro when it is in the bed, not sure I want to leave that much weight on it frequently, much less water than Option
    • Option 3:
      Upsides: Can move with anything, small
      Downsides: Not much water in a emergency situation, will be slow to load and unload (compared to the 2" trash pump)


    My aim is to be able to wet down anything that comes loose and blows off or if the fire starts to spread in the grass.
    Once one of our bonfires starts, its not worth trying to knock it down, would take a couple thousand gallons of water and someone who knows what they are doing, so I am just trying to keep it contained in a SHTF scenario.

    Anyone care to weigh in?


    Thanks

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  2. #2
    Bronze Member 59 Sons's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    Southern Washington
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    Kubota M59 tlb

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    I would prefer a dedicated old pick-up to hold your tank, and pump set up. But with your options I would go with the tank on a trailer. and have your tractor hooked to it ready to move. At least 1 300 gal tote.

    The problems I see is that I dont think trash pumps are designed to develop much pressure, unlike a 5hp Honda High Pressure "fire pump".

    Also your 2" discharge line is going to be a bear to handle when full of water. The fire men on my land last summer were using 1" while I was killing myself dragging around 1-1/2" line.

    -5-12-12-002-jpg

  3. #3
    Bronze Member 59 Sons's Avatar
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    Southern Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota M59 tlb

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    I would keep your trash pump at the pond to re-fill your tanks in a hurry, and invest in a Honda high pressure pump to run your spray line. I dont remember what mine cost since I bought it 5 years ago, but it wasnt too much.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Qapla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Gator Country
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    New Holland TC40D HST 4WD FEL/BH

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    In addition to the water setup, I would also turn the ground around the burn area so there is no grass close enough to ignite with the heat from the fire.
    New Holland Workmaster 45 2WD Gear
    Massey Ferguson 240
    New Holland TC40D HST 4WD
    NewHolland 16LA FEL
    Woods BH 70-X Sub-frame Backhoe
    Troybuilt Super Bronco w/42" mower
    Husqvarna DRT 900 Tiller
    Ariens 6.5 HP String Mower
    Husqvarna HU625WT String Mower

    3 point hitch attachments:
    single plow, double plow, 5' & 6' deck mower, tiller, 2 cultivators, planter, fertilizer spreader, disk set, sprayer, and a few homemade attachments

    30 acres, 15 acres, 5 acres

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    126

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    How much are you thinking of spending? I often see used, working fire trucks on CL for dirt cheap. Seems like it would save you a lot of troube and it would be way cool!

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    NSW Australia
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    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    Without baffles in tanks you're not going to be able to carry much water for a fast mobile "defense" & carry bulk water fast is next to impossible without heavy trucks, so I'd consider:-

    - Your trash pump is probably only suitable for bulk refilling, as they usually aren't self priming nor develop sufficient pressure for much use in firefighting (Bush fires & more so grass fires which are relatively fast moving require high pressure for misting/cooling/smothering for effective quick "knock downs" - bulk "dumping" of water doesn't cover enough ground fast enough, is largely ineffective for quick containment, often making the situation worse dispacing embers around &
    lower pressure can place you uncomfortably close/at higher risk nearer to the fire
    - 2" layflat is heavy & cumbersome to move quickly without extra hands around when pressurised & if it's polythene adapt to kink, puncture, rupture or burn at the most critical time (canvas fire fighting self percolating hoses overcome these shortcomings but are too expensive)
    - Consider purchasing a self priming high pressure fire pump & set up with two 30'+ x1" heavy duty fire hoses with fire nozzles , the fire pump can be self powered by a reliable 5hp engine, or mounted directly on the PTO or PTO shaft driven, even or Hyd driven. And fit the suction hose with a non-return/foot valve (it makes for quick priming & change over between water source like drums
    - Strategically placing "clusters" of 3-4 x 55gal water drums around the radius of your bonfire site; your new 30'x 1" firefighting hoses & fire pump will provide min. 45' radius coverage (allowing 30' of hose + 15' effective water pressure from the fire nozzel) the drum clusters need to be only @ c.90' spacings
    - Use the Toro, if it's your most nimble/fastest unit to carry the fire hoses/pump (assuming it's self powered) around between drum clusters & have it set up ready to provided water at a drum cluster from the outset of lighting your bonfire
    - Fit the 12V pump to the 35gal cart & tow with one of your tractors which provides a mobile waster source outside of the drum clusters
    - Cultivate/grade to bare ground around the burn pile & for c10'+ around each of your drum cluster as defensive "safe" shelters, & have long handed shovels on hand (dirt will stop/slow fires almost as good as water)

    As volunteer Rural Fire Fighter for more years than I care to recall, controlling bush/grass fires is all about preparation/planning so everyone knows their task & risk, keeping a level head under pressure & fast mobility. Bush/Grass fires move extremely quickly so having high presure water on demand & multlple water sources located close by are more critical than any single bulk water source as any hoses can only reach so far & if you're forced to retreat to refill without any other effective defense remaining at the fireground it's game over because you've now going backwards.........you may be able to adequately defend a house from a bush fire front with timely well placed use of a c.200gals + foam additives static source, but chasing a bush/grass fire across open ground is a totally different ball game...
    Attached are photo's which may be of interest, these are some of the smaller high pressure pump set ups we use on the farms (supplementary to the self powered fire pumps) shaft driven PTO , direct PTO mount & Hydraulic (these last two are small high pressure spray rig pumps which with foam injected at the nozzle make for excellent fire suppression) :--
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -hyd-pump-jpg   -pto-pump-jpg   -pto-2-5x2pump-jpg  

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Rolla, ND
    Tractor
    John deere 2305, X520 and LX188

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by aczlan View Post
    The Help with Brush Fire Water Rig thread has me thinking of our situation, we frequently have fairly large bonfires "out back" (in the middle of a grassy field) and I am looking to make a "water rig" for next year in case one gets out of control and needs containment.
    Raw materials on hand:
    • 2" trash pump
    • 25' of 2" layflat line
    • ~8 feet of suction line
    • 35 gallon drum mounted in a cradle on a "garden cart" (has a 3/4" pipe out the bottom of the drum)
    • 3500# trailer axle on a trailer that will be scrapped soon (popup frame that someone tried to make into a flatbed)
    • Toro Workman 2100 (rated to carry ~1200# in the 5'x4' bed or tow the same amount)
    • Couple of tractors (see the list of the left), all of which could tow 2500# without much fuss
    • 1980s vintage Yamaha electric golf cart
    • Stream with a small pond ~500' from the fire spot (~2' deep and 10'x8' for most of the summer)

    I am debating which of the following setups would be better:
    1. Use the axle, the pump and a 300 gallon tote (would have to buy) to make a water trailer with a mounted pump
    2. Use 2-3 of 55 gallon drums (can get for free) to make a skid that will fit into the back of the Toro and connect the drums in series to the pump
    3. Put 12v pump onto the existing 35 gallon drum

    My thoughts on the three options:
    • Option 1:
      Upsides: Can unload a lot of water in a hurry, just hitch and go
      Downsides: Cant tow the trailer with the Toro or a golf cart when full (have to pull behind one of the tractors), filling partway will cause much sloshing.
    • Option 2:
      Upsides: Can unload a lot of water in a hurry, very mobile
      Downsides: Will be a pain to load and unload, will restrict what can be done with the Toro when it is in the bed, not sure I want to leave that much weight on it frequently, much less water than Option
    • Option 3:
      Upsides: Can move with anything, small
      Downsides: Not much water in a emergency situation, will be slow to load and unload (compared to the 2" trash pump)


    My aim is to be able to wet down anything that comes loose and blows off or if the fire starts to spread in the grass.
    Once one of our bonfires starts, its not worth trying to knock it down, would take a couple thousand gallons of water and someone who knows what they are doing, so I am just trying to keep it contained in a SHTF scenario.

    Anyone care to weigh in?


    Thanks

    Aaron Z
    * 2" trash pump, 25' 2" flat hose and 8' suction hose - use to refill the tanks on the fire trucks from your creek, if they have to respond. Have mounted to old golf cart. Run 2" PVC pipe with strainer from creek to where you can get to with the "Yamaha Golf Cart rolling portable pumping refill unit". To keep from getting "stuck", run a 2" PVC pipe with strainer and foot valve from the creek to where you can get to with the cart. MOW and clear a safety zone with your lawn tractor around the "dry hydrant" site so you don't burn up your golf cart. Look up "dry hydrant" on the net.

    35 and 55 gallon drums. Cut the tops off, paint red, and mount three 2.5 gallon galvinized water buckets on hooks to each barrel, covered by a lid. Place wherever you want these. In colonial times, many fires were fought from "rain barrels". If the drums are plastic instead of steel drums, better yet.

    3500# trailer axle - scrap or use to keep a "water buffalo" with 300 GL tank near the house for water supply during fire season. Have a hookup on the tank to hook into the trash pump to refill your - - -

    Toro Workman 2100 with sprayer unit mounted in the bed. Forget the steel drums on the Workman. Get a nice little poly water tank with a large electric, small Honda WX10, or Honda WX15 pump and at least 100' of 3/4 Ag spray hose with garden hose nozzle and shutoff. Those plastic tanks are not that expensive. Check out your nearest tractor supply, fleet and farm, or farm supply store. Sprayer units are available from Fimco, Northern Tool & Supply and Graingers, but you can build your own. I would go 50-75 gallons on the Toro, or you could have some equipment breakage issues from excessive weight. The Toro would be your most effective intial attack spot fire sprayer unit, and could "spray and roll" at the same time.

    Stream - useful not only for water supply, but as a natural barrier to stop a wildfire or to prescribe burn the pasture from. A trail alongside the stream would be beautiful.

    Tractors - Get a "bush hog" and keep your pastures cut down during the summer. This will reduce flame lengths if you get a fire, reduce ticks from Lyme disease, and keep down weeds and brush. Maintain fire trails through your property with the tractors and mowers, as hiking trails, fire trails to prescribe burn from and for fire defense, snowmobile trails, etc.

    You could also take those steel drums and trailer and make a big BBQ trailer and smoker to cook over during your overnight bon fires. Now Thats what I call "fire management". A good oak fire pit and some steaks.

    The BEST thing would be to finish mow a 12' fire break with a JD lawn tractor back 100' from your bon fire area, burn out the grass on a quiet Spring morning, and not have to worry about it until it grows back. "Burned" grass or new "green" grass will not "burn". That is what I do near my backyard fire pit.

    Unless you have TALL grass, or burn on a dry windy day, 6-10 GPM or even a garden hose from a small pump should be able to suppress any spot fires. Don't burn when the NY Forest Rangers or USFS forecast a Red Flag Warning or HIGH fire danger. There is always the option of not lighting the match. Of course, night burns should be safer, but watch out for forecasted winds the next day that could send your fire across the next hill.

    I looked up that area on the Internet. Beautiful!

    SC

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    Thanks for the ideas all, attached is a layout of how the place is laid out, we already keep the field around the burn pits mowed to 4-6" tall. Will look at the various options on water rigs and report back.

    -burn-pit-png

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    8,034
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    My starting point would be prevention.
    - Smaller piles - We can not have that big of piles here without special permits. We're limited to 4'x4'
    - Scrape a buffer zone down to dirt around the pits. We can not have piles that big here, but I still scrape 10' or so out to dirt.
    - Mow a larger perimeter as short as possible. Remember, a fire in dry grass or other light flashy fuels can easily outrun a person. Firefighters have died or been seriously burned when conditions changed and a fire outran them.4-6" tall dry grass can burn really fast...
    - Consider discing or scraping a fire break around the fence-line or perimeter of the field. Down to dirt...
    - Always make sure the fire is attended to until it is dead out.
    - We always fight fire with 1.5" hose, whether on a pump and roll, or when laying hose out to a fire. 1" is for mop-up. For just one person though, 25' of 1" would probably be all you could manage.
    - Check with your local FD. They know local conditions, and may be able to give you good pointers.
    - A phone. Call for help before it becomes a major problem. I'd rather get canceled in route, or just have a little mop-up than to have the doo doo hit the fan and have extended rural response times...

    I would think about making the trailer in to a water buffalo. The water buffalo with a pump would be nice if you had a spot fire. It seems like something that would just be handy to have around in general. Of course, I also like the used fire engine idea too

    A quick douse with a bucket of water will stop a lot of little spot fires too.

    With three tractors available, I would consider having one or two with a bucket load of dirt.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Medium brush fire water rig ideas and questions

    found this not sure if it will help.
    http://www.ps-survival.com/PS/Fire_F..._Fire_2004.pdf
    talks about fighting crop/field fires.

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