Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fire: Handle with Care

Here's a story that only our colleague John Dorner (firefighter and scout master) is likely to believe. One week ago today I burned a pile of limbs and such in my back yard (ok, in the garden area). It burned down to a couple of small logs and a pile of coals just about right for slow roasting of marshmallows.

About 9pm or so I used a tractor to bury the coals in a heaping pile of dirt. I put lots of dirt on the pile to be sure it was safe. To give you an idea, it was barely warm on top of the dirt.

Fast forward 7 days...I scattered the pile of dirt tonight-a full 7 days since the coals were covered.


DSC00451Here's part of the bed of coals after having been underground for 7 days, through 2 rainstorms, and a few cold nights. Interesting that you can make out a hint of glowing red in the very center.

What? Could it still be burning after a full week? Don't you know it! I blew on it to see if it'd blaze back up. Yep. Here it is without the flash so you don't think this is just a picture of ashy coals.


The moral of the story: a smoldering fire can live for days and still be perfectly able to blaze back up. Be very careful with fire.

Thank You to Firefighters everywhere! Especially volunteers!