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Thread: Brush fire

  1. #1
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    Default Brush fire

    Recently we got a call "field on fire" and myself and one other Jr. got to the station and finally one FF showed up the capt. was on his way so i sent the other junior with the FF and they took our pickup. When the Capt. got there it was still just me and him so we left and got to the call, a guy had been bailing hay and the bailler set fire to the field so when we got there there were 2 pickups at the top of the hill stopping the fire and one putting out a bail. So we went up the road (in the engine) and started putting out bails we saved about 10 of them before we all got to a big center pile of around 110 bails so the decision was made to let them burn and 2 of the depts. would take shifts watching them Because the chief of a local dept. said we would never get it put out so we continued sparying taking the 1st shift and the other dept. said they would return at 11PM so when they arived all they chief would let them bring was a squad. So our chief said fine we will put the fire out and leave the other guys laughed at us but we started planning the chief went and got a 5,000 Gallon tanker from a local business and we started flowing lwater into a dump tank and then sucking it in to the engine , this is when it got odd the chief (who had arrived about 2 hours after Us) told me to get up on the platform and ready the deck gun so i did and then he told me to start spraying and even thought i have never seen a deck gun used on a brush fire it worked and by 3am we were done and the other dept. watched in aw as we walked thoroughj the scorched pile of hay that we had blown apart. I just thought it was pretty odd any body else go on a fire where it was put out an odd way ?


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    Forum Member SPIPER's Avatar
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    Not only am I a firefighter, but am a farmer as well, and bale my own hay. I've been to three such calls just in the last month. Once a bale of hay has started to burn, it is ruined, trying to save it is a waste of water and manpower. The easiest way to get that kind of job over quickly, that is after the fire in the grass has been stopped, is to unroll the bales with a pike pole or other long handled tool and let them burn. Unrolling them speeds up the burning process. Be careful as they will flare up quick. Keep your visor down and be ready to run.
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    Well, this wasn't a brush fire but we used our brush fire truck for this call. It was like 2 p.m. and they called us to respond to the end of Cresent Bluff Rd., but they didn't say why. So, it ended up that when we got there, there had been a dead deer stuck under rocks near the water. The residents wanted us to burn it. So we did. Marine 5 came in and assist us to light it and then it burned for an hour. And boy o boy you didn't want to be near this thing. When a dear is burning it smells so bad that the firefighters had to put a pack on. We then ended up putting it out with our tank water and then threw 3 bags of LIME on it.

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    I, too, live on a farm where we bale our own hay, and my department gets called to hay/hayfield fires occassionally.

    To second SPIPER's comments, trying to extinguish a hay bale on fire is a waste of time without breaking the bale open (round bales or square bales). You can't penetrate to the core of the bale without absolutely drowning the bale.

    The fastest and most efficient way to do it (albeit the most labor-intensive) is to break the bales, spread them out, let them burn down a bit, and then soak 'em.

    Ditto on haybarn fires. If a barn full of hay is going when you get there, it's going to burn to the ground. Agressively attacking it only stretches your resources and slows down the end result, which is the total loss of the structure. Let it burn, and protect the exposures.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    From time to time we have a hay barn fire, normally started by someone who bales the hay too wet. They then stack the hay, as the heat builds up from the decomposition of the material, there is no where for the heat to go. Eventually you have combustion.

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    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank all of you for teaching me something here. In my 32 plus years in the fire service...I've never been called to a fire involving hay bales. Now I will know what to do...although the farms are few and far between here....and the possibility is between slim and none. But heck...one never knows!

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    Station_32, well deck guns are used on wildfires lots, they work great for spraying up a slope where you dont want to put guys. But your your case it works great for helping break the bails apart.

    Now next time that happens, make sure to break them apart and also at 3am let the RH help take care of it as well.

    Or another idea is to burn an area around the bails so you have a good black area so that you can just get out some hotdogs and let them burn and chase a small spot here and there.

    Was your dept in bunker gear or do you guys have wildland gear?

    Stay Safe,

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    Senior Member upinflames60's Avatar
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    This doesnt have to deal with haybales although we get a couple of calls dealing with them. but i want to know if any of your departments deal with the issue of putting out the pushed up piles of logs that catch on fire during a cutover fire. we ran mutual aid with a local department recently on a brush fire. After the fire had a good line plowed around it and was controlled the department whm we were rnning with insisted on putting out the log piles that were well inside the line. Even though they were planning on using foam they still might as well have ****ed on it in my opinion. If any yalls departments have the same thoughts as this department i dont mean to insult you , but i would like to know your reasoning behind this.
    Burgess Wills
    Firefighter/EMT
    Windsor Vol. Fire Department
    Chuckatuck Vol. Fire Department

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    I have been on several hay fires ranging from 1 large round bale(1000 to 1500lbs per bale) to 5000+ large square bales(1500 to 2000lbs per bale). If it is one bale or two we would put it out by unrolling it and raking it into a pile about 3" high or less and then spraying water on it. but anything more than that we went to takeing shifts and let it burn. The main reasons for this was, The hay was ruined, It would take a lot of, work,water and hours to extinquish the fire, It was easier on the farmer or Dairy owner to clean up the mess, and we did not have to call mutual aid to handle the fire. Exceptions where if there was exposures like barns or more hay the we protected them the best we could until the exposure was moved(i.e. another stack of hay) or the fire was out.

    My question for you Station_32 is: What was the size of the bales: did you have 150 or so of the little square bales(50 to 150lbs per bale) or did you have the large square bales (the 2000lbs monsters)

    And by the way you did do one thing we always tried to do at all of our large hay fires, Have fun because you are going to be there a while.

    I am by no way saying what you and your chief did is wrong, just that I might have done it a little diffrent

    Be Safe
    D308

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    I am by no way saying what you and your chief did is wrong, just that I might have done it a little diffrent
    Me either!

    In my short experience, hay bale fires are unwinnable. Use them to your advantage. Setting up the deck gun really isn't going to have a dramatic effect on the fire, but provides training for your guys. Also, hay and haybarn fires require lots and lots and lots of water to extinguish, and can be excellent places to practice water shuttle.

    Learn every chance you get!
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    Spiper's advice is what has worked for my dept in the past, especially @ two incidents were hay bails in the woods along property lines were burning (very strange 150 hay bails in a row in the woods all on fire). Pull them apart and for the most part let the bails burn down, all we used for suppression was use water to put out the extension and finally foam over the top of it all. Its tiring and as Spiper said be ready to run and for godsakes DONT BREATH IN WHEN THE BAIL FLARES UP, i know from experience- I talked like Marlon Brando in Godfather for 4 days after.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
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    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

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    we use our deck gun for brush fires like that all the time. it really works good because we put a smooth bore on it which made it blow things apart even more.
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    Just some useless info, The department that I used to run mutal aid with has had a problem with hay fires this year, 1 10,000 bale fire and 2 800 bale fires(the 2000lbs type) That is up from normal It used to be one big fire a year. But they say the New dairies are good for the local Economy.

    I guess I am to dumb to See it

    Be safe D308

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