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  1. #11
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2009
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    174
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    DC currently, soon Upper Hudson River Valley where our acreage is located.
    Tractor
    Still looking

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    My current method is to eliminate accelerants entirely and use one of those chimney style BBQ charcoal starters. I've found that leaving an alcove under the pile were you can pour the red hot coals (with a board or something for the coals to lay on) is a very reliable method for getting a pile of brush, even wet brush, going fairly quickly. I use the cowboy charcoal (for fire starting as well as cookin') since it burns hotter.

    Never felt comfortable pouring gas, used motor oil or anything else out on the burn pile since we get our well water from a shallow aquifer (20 foot down or so) and we are all sand. I know it all gets burned up, but still never felt comfortable doing it, safety issues aside.

  2. #12
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    7,744
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    About using a BBQ lighter as ericher69 suggests: I have NEVER seen a BBQ lighter that would stay lit once you let go of the trigger...you can probably tape the trigger down if you use the broom handle method, and few broom handles are more than 5 feet long. I really prefer the "stand-back-and-throw" method I outlined in post #6.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  3. #13
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    10,120
    Location
    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    I will use used motor oil or diesel to light a bonfire. Never get it on the ground though. I always break open a bale of junk hay, spread the flakes through the pile and pour the oil/diesel onto the flakes. They act as a wick that way and it lights off as pretty as you please.

    NEVER EVERY use gas, whitegas, etc to light a fire

    I also always use a propane torch rather than a lighter. Works better and is probably cheaper.

    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

  4. #14
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,798
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    I used some left over coleman stove fuel once, thinking it was like diesel. WRONG.
    Tim.

  5. #15
    Veteran Member ericher69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    1,477
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota b2920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JDgreen227
    About using a BBQ lighter as ericher69 suggests: I have NEVER seen a BBQ lighter that would stay lit once you let go of the trigger...6.
    Guess you don't get much...

    The safest alternative is to use no accelerants; learn how to build your fuel/burn pile so that it lights properly.

    Check out this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHc4h...e_gdata_player

    Fast forward to 1:50 and play
    ericher69
    IAFF Local 849

  6. #16
    Silver Member indianaEPH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    229
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Tractor
    Kubota M59

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    Wow, that is tragic.
    I always use Diesel or even kindling to start fires. This is yet another example of why

  7. #17
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    88
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    1951 8N Ford, 1962? JD 4010 WF Gas, 1976 International 154 Loboy, New Holland T2410

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    I light fires 99% of the time without any need for fuel. A lighter and whatever brush/scrap wood I'm burning is it.

    If I have any old gas or used paint thinner laying around I'd use it, but never any new diesel/gas. I'm too cheap.

  8. #18
    Gold Member uglyboywith11fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    357
    Location
    Georgetown, Ontario
    Tractor
    2007 BX24TLB, 1998 TG1860G

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    I'm with aczlan... i use my propane torch if I need a bit of help getting a fire going.
    a few years ago, my daughter's current boyfriend was a volunteer firefighter.
    he was called out to a situation where an older gent had used gasoline to start a brush fire.
    they suspected maybe he dribbled some gas on his boots... when he lit the fire, his feet began to burn, he backed away quick & tripped over his 5 gallon gas can... wasn't much left of the old fella.

    Pete

  9. #19

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    very sad for those involved. I want to add that an old hay bale or tight brush lights easy when you use a lit road flare to start the fire. I have used diesel fuel and kerosene both to start brush piles on fire. You can toss a road flare a long ways and it don't go out. Just my way of keeping my distance.

  10. #20
    Bronze Member
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    Feb 2012
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    85
    Location
    brunswick, me
    Tractor
    don't

    Default

    Man alive, what happened to some birch bark, a few twigs, 20 minutes longer, and no boom? Am I the only guy left in the world who'll just build a fire??

    I once had a vw jetta sized brush pile with a bit of a hidden layer of old spruce bows. The pile went up so fast that I almost couldn't get away from it fast enough. I couldn't imagine if it had been soaked in gasoline or was 2 stories high!

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