Page 1 of 8 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 72
  1. #1
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    469
    Location
    Sierra Nevada Mtns
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Our forest fire precautions

    Forest fires are a constant summer threat where live. This year it is about as bad as it gets and later in the summer it will be extreme.

    Some of our fire prevention/preparation precautions:

    Fire safe zones around buildings, 100ft if possible, 50ft minimum; no brush, dry vegetation, raked to dirt, gravel, or grass. No plantings close to house.

    Trim low branches of tall surrounding trees to break the fire "ladder effect".

    Roof sprinklers. When I built I used metal roofing and installed five rainbird (impact) sprinklers at the house and four at the shop/office. I ran dedicated pipe through the attic to outside valves. The sprinklers penetrate the roof at the ridge; I used small roof jacks available at building supply stores to seal the pipes. I tapped into the main before the house pressure reducer: waters about 50ft beyond the perimeter of the buildings. Not as "pretty" but a similar system can be surface mounted. (As a bonus we can run the roof sprinklers on dry, hot, days. Settles the dust and adds an evaporative cooling effect around the buildings.)

    Keep rain gutters cleaned

    Hydrants and fire hose. When laying the water main to house I put in a larger-than-required main line (1 1/2" dia) and stubbed up two hydrants with dedicated fire hose fittings (away from the buildings so there is access to them if there is a building fire). We have 600 ft cotton jacket and bone fide fire nozzles on two permanent outside (covered, quick-remove-lid) racks. Fire hose can be had on the cheap on ebay as hotels & such need to update regularly. The stuff is old but brand new and normally very suitable for the typically lower domestic water pressures. If buried hydrant lines are out of the question you can always lay down some PVC or Poly pipe on the ground to extend your coverage.

    Make a short list and a long list of evacuation items. The short one gets you stuff you can gather in 5 minutes and the long one an hour.

    Keep some evac bags packed. A coupe of days of clothes & personal items. We also store things like photos, old tax records, home/shop inventory list (for insurance claim, photo inventory too), computer back-ups, and such in one central location for grab-n-go.

    Know evac routes out or area and have a predetermined meeting area for household members. Have a central communication contact that can relay information if members get separated/out of contact with each other.

    Buy and learn to use a fire/police radio scanner. When we hear a siren or hear a spotter plane/helicopter the scanner goes on with local frequencies already programed. This is first hand information and will enable educated fight-or-flight decisions.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Charlesaf3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,977
    Location
    Richmond VA & Martha's Vineyard, People's Republik of Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030, Kubota M59 TLB

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    Very good ideas!

    I'd add storing insurance information online somewhere - pictures lists etc. Can be done in a free Google account
    ----------------------------------------
    Charles

    Kubota B3030
    Kubota M59 w/hydro thumb
    Neat stuff - ATI Preseeder, Hydraulic PHD, Wallenstein BX62r Chipper, Millonzi Grapple, CA 4n1 Bucket. Delta Hook Rear QA system.
    Too many other random attachments to list (or to own, per my wife) and a really bad tool addiction. But at least I haven't bought a dump truck or bulldozer. Yet.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    137
    Location
    Rescue, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24, RTV900-Worksite

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    You covered most of what we are doing: we have a couple of checklists of what to do: one for the longer time frame and the other for a quick run. We have those posted in the kitchen on the fridge where it will be seen often .

    I asked the local fire department to come out and talk over my property and preparations. It was useful and I am doing some additional things, but the one thing that stood out was their comments about declining water pressure during a fire because of other home owners using large volumes of water and the fire department using more. They recommended having a water supply on the property since I am a good distance away from a hydrant.

    Our water line from the road is 1" and I have 50psi at the house, but I have an irrigation line for fruit trees that comes off the main before the house. I do plan to put sprinklers on the roof, probably Buckner 261s and I plan to lay some additional 1.5" pipe to a couple of locations so I can put a heavy duty sprinkler or maybe a hose.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Phils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    776
    Location
    Cherokee, CA
    Tractor
    PT-422

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    Great tips, RedDirt!

    We just had to evacuate last Thursday afternoon... from the office only as the fire never got closer than 4 miles to the house. I'll attach a photo looking west from our office.

    There was only one road open out of town for evacuation (out of 4, fire had the other three closed), and at the "lower" end, traffic control was not done correctly. It took us almost two hours to traverse the 10 miles home. This is a country road with only two stop signs. Bumper to bumper gridlocked. If the fire had turned east we'd have been fleeing on foot.

    There's already meetings being held to make some better plans for this town to evacuate.

    Phil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Our forest fire precautions-paradise-fire-018-small-jpg  

  5. #5
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    469
    Location
    Sierra Nevada Mtns
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    Quote Originally Posted by Phils
    Great tips, RedDirt!

    We just had to evacuate last Thursday afternoon... from the office only as the fire never got closer than 4 miles to the house. I'll attach a photo looking west from our office.

    There was only one road open out of town for evacuation (out of 4, fire had the other three closed), and at the "lower" end, traffic control was not done correctly. It took us almost two hours to traverse the 10 miles home. This is a country road with only two stop signs. Bumper to bumper gridlocked. If the fire had turned east we'd have been fleeing on foot.

    There's already meetings being held to make some better plans for this town to evacuate.

    Phil
    Thats a might scary photo! And fleeing afoot is not an attractive option. None the less, if you live in the woods it's best to have several escape routes and strategies planned ahead, even foot routes.

    The water district has a sizable reservoir at the end of our driveway, a couple hundred yards away, that's our "last stand" outpost. I'll bring my oxy tank, painting masks, a cloth tarp and a scrap of metal roofing if there's time. We'll jump in the lake and make an "air tent" over us.

    I've fought shipboard fires in the Navy, forest fires for the Forest Service, and home fires as a volunteer fireman. All fires are scary when they are nearby and you are a homeowner.

    On our 40 acres in Oregon I was taping the sheetrock on my hand built home when the gypboard turned orange. I looked around out our picture window to see a thin column of smoke between me and the sun. It was three miles away but in an hour it was a 1200 acre fire and coming our way! I fired up he D2 and began shoving whatever fire trail I could along our property line. Neighbors showed up and old rancher Grizz said, "Aw I wouldn't worry about doin' that; that fire's two miles away." Well a bomber files through and I'm quite certain he carried embers along with him because two minutes later we had a spot fire just on the other side on my line. Then flash, another, then another. I'm pumped up now running the Cat blade right into the flames trying to squash the fire. Fire's 80ft from our property line and I'm thinking, "One more fire jump, it's on the property, and I've got to get outta here and evacuate." Another bomber flies overhead and lands a direct hit of borate on me an' the Cat. Sure was glad to have my logging canopy! Then I'm climbing about the steepest incline I' ever been up, about to crest the summit when a D6 flops over the edge headed right for me! I slam the brakes to the floor, he brakes hard, catastrophe averted. Right then I thought "OK, now it's up to the big boys". No sooner the thought flashed, the wind clocked 180 degrees, the overdue afternoon up-canyon wind kicked in, and the fire reversed and burnt back to the origin. Whew!!!!

    Forest Service fought the fire through the night into the next day. Ended up around 3600 acres. Burned up a firetruck, hoses and almost got the crew that was between the main fire and our spot fires after the wind shifted. Ironically the cause of the fire was traced to a Forest Service "controlled burn" two weeks previous. The fire went down a root and smoldered underground for two weeks!

    When I got back to the house in my newly red painted Cat the wife and neighbors already had the truck, trailer, car and car-trailer packed ready to go. Getting this close to being burned out left a lasting impression.

    That was twenty five years ago. We still live in the woods but continue to fret every summer. We hope our precautions and planning will help if it is ever called upon to do so but dearly hope it will never be needed.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Phils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    776
    Location
    Cherokee, CA
    Tractor
    PT-422

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    WOW RedDirt! What an experience!

    I got training but I never had to fight any real fires in the Navy. I was on a sub and we were lucky. As you know, fires on subs can turn deadly very fast.

    Over the last thirty years that we've lived at our place we've had close calls before. I have 300' of defensible space now... clearing manzanita and brush is what I do every winter, extending that space.

    Often during high fire conditions I keep the fifthwheel hooked up and we can evacuate in minutes if we are home. And since I'm self-employed, we WILL be home if there's a fire nearby. If we aren't home, we have insurance.

    Phil

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,182

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    Great story Reddirt! You should write a book.

    Podunk

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    137
    Location
    Rescue, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24, RTV900-Worksite

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    My experience with fires this year, last year, and the year before have made an impression and I am trying to do something for a fire protection strategy beyond creating as reasonable a defensible space as I can in my situation.

    The last fire that threatened us a month or so ago, embers and not the radiant heat were the primary source of danger. Another fire a couple weeks later never threatened us directly, but if the wind had shifted, we would have been exposed to embers again. With those experiences in my, I think it is worth thinking about what can be done for protection and at what cost. I have no plans to fight a fire. I plan to treat my house and key parts of my property if time allows before I run. So, that is the path I am going down.

    I am just starting to get information about some of the options beyond a garden hose. I quickly realized that is not a reasonable solution. And, in our first fire the power went out, so anything electric based is problematic without a generator handy.

    I have looked at the compressed air foam systems CAFS that could be used in rural residential situations. They are 6-10k, depending on the volume of the tank. I am not sure how long the foam lasts and they might be better suited to other applications, just don't know enough yet.

    Fire retardants such as Phos-Check can be sprayed and might be useful for preapplication to critical areas before running. There are homeowner type kits that are available for this.

    Gels such as Barricade seem reasonable because they can be sprayed on a roof and under eaves where embers can infiltrate and the gel stays on longer, at least as I understand it now.

    There are also some other foam units that can either be attached to a garden hose or a larger fire type hose with a water source and pump to apply the foam. These at least wet things down in a spray and run strategy and the foam will hang on longer than water.

    With a reliable water source, a sprinkler system with larger volume sprinklers like the Buckner and Nelson agricultural sprinklers can provide some defense and there are also ones that can be attached to fascia boards to deter embers. It is the water source and having enough GPM and pressure that seems to be the key there.

    My current thinking is to have some combination of a foam and gel application where I can pretreat areas before leaving. After that pretreatment, then I could turn a ball value and start the sprinkler system and then head out. Make sense?

    In addition to the other preparations to do --- create defensible space and have an evacuation plan -- it is worthwhile for me to think about a pretreat and run plan also.

    Anyone tried the gels or foams for a rural residential/farm applications?

  9. #9
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    469
    Location
    Sierra Nevada Mtns
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    I should clarify. That "last outpost" option above is if we are for any reason trapped here. We will definitely leave if given the chance. Basic plan is to pack and water for as long as we can then leave the roof sprinklers on and boogie. But it's like the foot route...plan for the worst and hope for the best. When getting ready to sail to Mexico for a year we practiced (often) in much worse conditions than we ever encountered. Though we had some nasty blows a few time there was alway peace of mind knowing we could handle worse.

    Phils - I replied to your PM...I guess we're neighbors .

    The ship fire was the worst. Toluene, France "68 or '69. The guided missile frigate, flagship of our destroyer squadron, blew up when lighting off their boilers when we were called at 0200 to skedaddle down to Crete for the "three day war". Killed three guys, one was an ex shipmate. He'd gotten out but went back below for his buddy. Bummer.

    I had the quarterdeck watch at the time and just stayed there on watch half a day, one pier away. But there was still plenty 'nough time to get my hands dirty. We had four re-flashes and fought that fire for three days. Used up every can of foam in the Mediterranean fleet.

    I work at home too. But I tele-commute, not self employed. Nice to be here and not a drive awaywhen the sky gets smoky.

    hotwheels,
    A member posted on the bx24 fire wagon post wrote yesterday about CAFS foam systems and got my interest. But at 6-10 grand...well that has dampened my enthusiasm. Let us know about the other foam systems as you gather info and keep us updated on what you decide.

    I have thought in the past about getting a storage tank and a gas fire pump. Never wanted to have it above ground taking up space. Now I have a hoe . Back to thinking about a tank underground. Anyone got one of those?

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    242
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Tractor
    2516 Mahindra w/backhoe

    Default Re: Our forest fire precautions

    If you bought a tank and pump you could look at places like TheFireStore.com. They have forestry hose and pales of foam. you can buy the eductor which helps siphon the foam out of the bucket and pushes it through your nozzle. This is also effective and cheaper jsut a little more complicated to use. Thttp://www.darcoinc.com/fire-cisterns.htm is a link if you are not close to any municipal water mains. It will help you store water to set up your sprinkler systems. We do not get such a large fire but do have fast moving fires that stay closer to the ground. Most of the areas do not have municipal water and this is how are fire apparatus get water to refill or fight fire. Most insurance companies will give you a iscount on your insurance if you install these. You may even be able to find a grant throught the state to help. Not to mention the nearest fire station loves seeing the pipes to these sticking out of the ground. RedDirt is right on the money with everything he has posted. I have heard of the Gels to coat the roof and they seem to work well. I do not know where to get them though.
    Mahindra 2516 with backhoe + thumb, pallet forks and loader lots of projects.

Page 1 of 8 1234 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2016 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.