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  1. #1
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    Default problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    A year ago I logged 25 or so 25-35" douglas fir trees in the back yard. This spring I had a large excavator in digging a pond - asked him if he could rip those stumps out - no problem..he piled them up in 3 piles each about 12' tall and 20' diameter. I have them tarped to stay dry until I light them off. Now the problem - if it's a problem - is that I am a tad nervious about that much fuel burning 60 feet or so away from my barn. I figure to rent a generator and big fan and use that to make each pile burn faster and to maybe divert the heat away from my barn..sound sensible to any of you that might have experience with this sort of thing?? Suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Depmandog's Avatar
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    Default

    Do a search on trench burners or air curtain destructors. This is what you need. They can be rented.

    But - you will have to dig a large burn pit, and be able to load the pit (quickly - too hot to jack around with a small machine).

    Using the above method, you will get the stumps burned pretty completely. Trying to burn them completely in a brush pile - it's going to take a few tries.

    I wouldn't just put a fan on it. You would have a spark and ember producing tornado.

    Regardless...60' is very close - no matter what you use. Might be cheaper in the long run to have them hauled off.
    Dean


  3. #3
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    MX5100HST FEL

    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    you will probably have to rack it up a couple times to get it to burn down. My experience with stumps seem to be they burn slow unless they are really dry and clean. You could always light them up against the wind if you are really nervous.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
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    Default

    Those stumps can burn for days. Your profile says that you're situated on 67 acres. I'd skip the heartache and headache and move them much much farther from the barn. If not possible, second option is to build an earthen berm between the fire and the barn. Or pile up dirt and use it to keep the fire small.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by MikeInEburg; 10-14-2012 at 09:32 PM.

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

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  5. #5
    Platinum Member Pete Judd's Avatar
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    I did the same thing years ago when I cleared my property. They will burn slowly and at 60 feet, should not be a problem to your barn. I used a gas powered fan, and found that at 60 feet, quite comfortable, take your hotdogs, and marshmellows. Make sure that you have a garden hose with sprayer, with the faucet on to keep the grass wet around it, if any, and this storm coming in right now, is a good time to light it off. The barn walls wont get to hot, and unless you have a cedar roof on the barn, and it will be wet, would not worry about it very much.
    Yanmar 186D 1981
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    I sure do appreciate the imput, fellows..thank you. Those stumps will burn quicker - and hotter - with one of those big fans going. As Depmandog says, there will be a lot of sparks and embers but as I plan on this project at the end of winter, everything in Western Oregon are well saturated by then (piles are covered so should be relatively dry) so not much fire danger I'm hoping. I will have a high pressure pump hooked up to my two 3000gal water tanks for back up...if it get's too hot then cut the fan - and if push comes to shove then throw a chain over and pull the pile apart some with the tractor. I think it will work out OK. Thanks again, guys.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    Stumps don't burn well, so that helps protect your barn. How much dirt is held by the roots? If there is much dirt, your problem will be getting them to burn, not how hot the fire is. Too late now, but fine fuels, small limbs, twigs and needles, mixed in with the stumps would help them burn a lot better.

    Plan on a week or so for a pile to burn down. That means you have to watch the weather forecasts so you don't get a "no burn" day when your pile is half burned.

    You may have to repeatedly push the pile together to keep the heat concentrated. In doing so you'll tear up the wet ground. Just a cost of doing business. An excavator on site would do a better job, but of course, that costs.

    If the fire gets too hot, you aren't going to be able to get close enough to break down the piles.

    I'd start with the pile that's farthest away and watch how it burns. If you light it on one side, note which side burns hottest, the side you lit it on or the opposite side.

    Personally I wouldn't consider the berm idea. Sounds like too much work and it would need to be really high.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Tollster's Avatar
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    I been buring piles of pine that size and found that if I wait till an all day rain,or after a two day soaker, they are more controlled. There are some thigs you can do to control it to a point.
    1, Rain and snow are your friend on big billes of dried wood.
    2. Light the up hill side, down wind of the pile. Heat travels up,and wind will push the flames, so you do not want to light the downhill leeward side of the pile, or you'll ask for trouble.
    3. If you use the advice above, you may notice the fire actually has a lack to take off,I use my leaf blower to fan the flames to and away from the fuel.

    Always remember the fire needs fuel and oxygen to burn, the more air you add combined with unlimited dried fuel will make for a very hot fire, remove or reduce both, and you have more control.
    You may be able to split the piles up,then add fuel as it burns down, you could also call the local fire company for suggestions,or avilability on the day you paln to burn.
    Kubota BX-23, BH, FEL, MMM, Various Bro-tek attachments, Exmark Lazermark.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    Again thanks, fellows...I do feel a lot more confident about this project with the ideas you all put forward.

    - wet, snowy day
    - light the uphill and downwind side first
    - burn the one furthest from the buildings first
    - rent one of those big fans and control it somewhat with that
    - have a fire hose ready
    - and it wouldn't hurt to talk to the local volunteer fire guys
    - plan on pushing the fire together a few times
    - have hotdogs and marshmellows on hand

    Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: problem - to get rid of three big piles of doug fir root wads...

    Quote Originally Posted by ghyrax View Post
    Again thanks, fellows...I do feel a lot more confident about this project with the ideas you all put forward.

    - wet, snowy day
    - light the uphill and downwind side first
    - burn the one furthest from the buildings first
    - rent one of those big fans and control it somewhat with that
    - have a fire hose ready
    - and it wouldn't hurt to talk to the local volunteer fire guys
    - plan on pushing the fire together a few times
    - have hotdogs and marshmellows on hand

    Thank you.
    Add to your list....
    - Running tractor
    - Shovel and rake
    - Thick clothes
    -- Chainsaw chaps
    -- Chainsaw helmet with face shield
    -- Gloves
    - Eye protection
    - Burn permit if required.

    The piles I have burned have contained logs, some small stumps but mostly sapling sized trees. The piles have been 20-30 feet long, 8-12 feet wide and maybe 6-8 feet tall. I would always wait for a weather pattern where it rained prior to my burn followed by rain after I burned. I would NOT burn if it was windy. Many times I thought I could burn but on the burn day the wind would kick up so I would cancel the burn.

    I would get a burn permit every time I thought I would burn even though most of the time I would not burn because of wind.

    The chainsaw chaps, helmets and gloves help when I would rake around the fire. The heavy clothes allowed you to stay closer to the fire a bit longer. The metal mesh face shield on the helmet was surprisingly good at keep the heat away. Eye protection is obvious.

    I did use the tractor to push the burn pile as required. I would make sure that the FEL was moving any embers so I would not run them over. I did not have a supply of water, but I started the tractor before starting the fire. The tractor ran for four or so hours until the fire had burned down to a point that it was no longer dangerous. The tractor would allow me to quickly put in a burn lane somewhere if I needed too.

    Later,
    Dan

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