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Thread: E85 fires

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Default E85 fires

    Our county association just distributed a link to this IAFC notice about some of the dangers associated with fires involving E85.

    Anybody dealt with a fire or spill involving the fuel yet?


  2. #2
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    I have not dealt with an E85 fire, yet. However we have seen plenty of fires involving the lesser mix of 15% ethanol with no problems, granted none of them have ever been more than 20 gallons.

    We use the 15% in our burn pans and it behaves just like gas when using the drychem/CO2. It does have a tendency to flare up a little more than straight gas when hit with water.

    Sorry I'm not much help, just sharing what I have experience with.

  3. #3
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    Default dot website

    try this out, i haven't had the chance to look at it because my computer took a turd.

    http://hazmat.dot.gov/E-85_042606.pdf

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcfd45
    try this out, i haven't had the chance to look at it because my computer took a turd.

    http://hazmat.dot.gov/E-85_042606.pdf
    Sweet. That is getting printed and hung on the board at the firehouse. Thanks!
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
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    It's good information.

    Just keep in mind how foams work, why alcohol types are important in certain applications, and what local tools are available.

    In my area, like many rural places, we don't have the ability to sustain a high volume Class B foam attack of any size for 30+ minutes until a state trailer can arrive. And the film forming foam it carries is of limited value outside of tank farms and tarmacks anyway. What Class B is available locally is used through 95gpm eductors stuck into buckets.

    On the other hand, we have a number of CAFS equipped pumpers capable of 200CFM+, and even more Class A foam supplies available from departments with smaller CAFS or just plain Class A systems.

    Even with the quicker breakdown of the blanket from alcohol, we'd still be able to more effectively attack these fires using a 200 CFM / 300 to 400gpm CAFS pumper or two using 0.3% Class A foam...then we could with a two or three or four 95gpm 1-6% Class B foam handlines that we don't have the local resources to sustain that flow rate until the arrival of "big foam" supplies.

  6. #6
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Question?????????????

    Dal, are you saying that Class "A" Foam may be effective here?
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  7. #7
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    Sure. We can put out hydrocarbon fires with just plain water so adding a little foam certainly isn't going to hurt anything. Better than standing around with a fire burning, waiting for some foam truck to show up from nowhere....

    Birken

  8. #8
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    Sure.

    It won't be as effective as Class B foam purposely designed for that application.

    You certainly don't get the film forming properties, but that feature is most helpful on unbroken liquids -- around protrusions like signs, brush, overturned tankers you're relying on the mechanical blanket to seal the fuel from oxygen.

    Class A, especially as CAFS, will make an effective mechanical blanket. In my area we have fairly good stocks of Class A foam; and we have several large CAFS pumpers near our station. We can make and sustain a good mechanical blanket with them. I don't believe the same is true using AFFF.

    I know there was some departments that where using Class B CAFS as their standard structural attack foam. I'd like to know more about the cost, deteriotian, and environmental qualities of that foam -- certainly Class A foams like Silvex beat Class B foams like AFFF across the board on those categories.

  9. #9
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    Whats wrong with letting the stuff burn if there are no exposure hazards ? The more product that's burned the less they have to clean up, not to mention possibly causing runoff into storm sewers or other areas.


    Larry

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