Basics - Fire safety

You'll have more fun in the woods when you're healthy
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Bram van Munster
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Basics - Fire safety

Post by Bram van Munster » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:38 pm


There are a lot of people that go out into the wild, and create a fire just where ever they please, without looking at the risks. This is - to say the least - frowned upon... So here is the basics of a fire location!

Location, location, location, you hear it everywhere, and it has been so for thousands of years... Don't believe me? Look up the pyramids of Egypt all aligned with the stars...

Well, back to topic... You're in the wild, and need a fire. There won't be much trouble on a rocky ground, but there are SO many areas where you have to be extremely careful, and constantly cautious, it is alarming. This is info not many know...

Forests nowadays usually consist of either leaf or needle (pine) trees.

Trees that have leafs on them usually dig their roots down into the soil very fast, and they don't care about a fire nearby - but not too close.

Evergreen trees, such as pine, root quite shallow. A 30 meter high tree will only have about 6 meters deep roots and they contain flammable fluids. This is why Fatwood is pretty popular with bush-folk!

All trees are affected when a fire is created near them. They soak up the heat. Do think a bit further, and realize the heat from the fire also goes down into the ground. (remember pit-fire cooking?)
When the heat goes in the ground, it can stay there a LONG time. We're talking 2 to 3 weeks even before it cools down. Pine trees have been known to "spontaneously combust" into flames weeks after someone had a day out as they retain the heat in their roots.

This is why pine trees (which contain petroleum-like fluids can catch on fire "spontaneously" after a campfire has been near them. Near is up to 12 meters (roughly 45 - 50 feet).

Here's how to prevent unintentional forest fires:

1) Have plenty water nearby.
2) Sharpen several 6 foot sticks, and drive them into the ground in as many places as you can, creating holes around your campfire location. This will air the ground so heat can escape, and also you will be able to cool the ground by pouring water into them.
3) Use a spark catcher above your fireplace to prevent leafs above you catching fire.
4) Make sure your fire is absolutely out when you leave the site!!!
5) Don't make a fire unless you have to.
6) Prefer a fire that is not on the ground, so unless you carry a grill, use a gas bottle, hobo stove or rocket stove to get the heat going.
7) If you can't prevent making a fire on the ground, clear the area of flammable materials and line the fireplace with rocks, and be VERY aware of your surroundings (tree types, fire wood, type of wood, but also widow-makers on your fire spot).

Stay safe out there folks :) And keep Nature alive... We depend on nature.

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