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charlo slim

Having fun with matches (and propane)

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charlo slim

Put the torch to a 35 acre field of old (ex) CRP yesterday.  Very heavy and decadent stand of love grass. Worthless crap, shoulda been named hate grass. This was a strictly amateur operation, as I was the only one present having any experience with controlled burning. And that was from 50’ish years ago on the North Dakota prairies!

 

Burning in to the wind was reasonably sedate considering the heavy fuel load, also the best way to get the most complete burn, IIRC. Things did tend to get considerably more exciting when the guys decided to send a downwind fire plume toward a few vagrant eastern red cedars. Several of those literally exploded when they ignited, but I think a few of the larger ones may have survived 😥.... for now. 

 

As as I was leaving the field maybe 45 minutes post burn, with some of the biggest tussocks still smoldering a bit, I flushed 4 bobwhites from 40-50’ within the burn perimeter. They were the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th quail I’ve seen down here in the past 2 months!  Pure coincidence perhaps, but it sure made me wonder if there isn’t some deep inherent “preference” for burned habitat involved??

 

I’ll tag on a couple of crummy pics of the adventure in a minute or 2. 

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charlo slim

6D814B7F-556E-41E0-B5DC-7DF471044A97.jpeg

FD93DC6A-E5BE-4CB3-A55F-A69CAC4691AA.jpeg

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Clueless1

Wish I had the fortitude to do some of that. 

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spring

Those dry open grasslands can get hot, too, especially if they haven't been burned in a while.  Your burn reminds me of one from a couple of years ago... Glad you were careful!

2018 pasture burn.jpg

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grouse28

In PA you would end up in the hoosegow for that.

I think it is required that you be a certified arsonist for controlled burns.

Results should be nice for those quail.

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charlo slim
59 minutes ago, spring said:

Those dry open grasslands can get hot, too, especially if they haven't been burned in a while.  Your burn reminds me of one from a couple of years ago... Glad you were careful!

 

Oh yeah, careful is the word!  Grass fires can be extremely fast, hot, and dangerous I'm told by some of the folks who actually know something about such things,  I do have some vivid recollections of little "adventures" during the ND burns so long ago. Like nearly burning up a USFWS fire truck.  Not to mention having a re-ignition start after wind came up and fanned sparks from a smoldering dried up old cow pie on to fresh fuel tract - quite exciting.  The recent burn was pretty much pucker - free, with good fuel breaks, water spray rigs on atv's, and a tractor with cultivator ready in case of oops.  

 

Probably poor choice of thread title on my part.  Certainly nothing to be taken lightly!

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Big Al

Love grass sounds about as valuable as cheat grass.  Although sharps don't mind cheat.  Fire is the best way to eradicate cheat grass but there's no way I'm lighting the central Montana prairie on fire.

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Rockdoc

Dang! Your thread title brought back fond memories from when I was a kid and used to make rockets and explosive devices (pipe bombs) using match heads as a propellant. I made some some mighty powerful stuff. It's amazing I'm still alive and have all my body parts, but damn it was fun!

 

Steve

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Tim Frazier

When I was a kid my dad and i would do burns and I am VERY jealous as I would love to be able to use fire to control some of our cool weather grass's.  Great job!

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fishvik
On 3/26/2020 at 10:56 AM, charlo slim said:

Oh yeah, careful is the word!  Grass fires can be extremely fast, hot, and dangerous I'm told by some of the folks who actually know something about such things, 

After 35 years in fire management with the feds, this is an understatement. Grass fires always had a much higher pucker factor than timber fires to me simply because of how fast they could move due to a surface wind  or a dust devil created by the flat ground burn energy.  

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idcut

Having been in both the operations and logistics end of fire with the USFS and the State of Idaho for 30 + years, I have plenty of experience on both wildfires and prescribed burns! However, the majority of time was spent on timber fires, but I certainly experienced some grass fires and they can get away in short order with a little wind pushing it.

 

Bought myself a propane torch last week for burning brush piles and dead grass on our property and put it to use on Monday and Tuesday. Still a bit wet for the brush piles to get a clean burn, but the grass burned nicely and walked away with no burned structures, only some singed hair on my wrists, eyebrows and the edge of my temples....what fun!

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