Burn pile - please help me!

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by BlessedMom, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Okay, we've been dropping trees.
    We've got all this brush and I cannot get it to burn.
    Help!! What can I do to get this stuff to burn?
    I've tried BBQ lighter fluid..paper, cardboard, nothing.
    ACK!
     
  2. WolfWalksSoftly

    WolfWalksSoftly Level II -Inappropriate

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    One old tire will do the trick.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................Be sure and Mow all the grass all the way around your pile down as low as possible . Try , Charcoal liter by pouring on a spot with really , dry , small twigs , Then , pour a trail of fluid on the ground out away from the fire for several feet and light the trail . This is one reason for mowing the grass down very low . You might want to also wet the ground around the fire with a Squirt handle on a garden hose , BEfore starting the fire . Then keep your squirt handle ready incase a spark is ejected from the fire so you can put it out . You just Can't be Too careful . I have started burning my Brush Pile the morning After it has rained the night Before as the ground will be very damp and therefore Less likely to start perimeter fires if the wind starts blowing . Don't Burn on Windy days and keep your brush pile(s) as small as possible as they can become UNmanagable if the wind picks up and you're not prepared . fordy.. :)
     
  4. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    I think the neighbors would notice and here it's against the law.
     
  5. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I have tried this...and it just burns what the liter fluid is on and then it goest out. I've got through a whole bottle of the stuff. :(
    And sometimes the stuff isn't even damp!
    I'm hoping to start early tomorrow morning and get this stuff burned. Once I get it going I can get it to burn great. It just takes me hours, if I can get it going. The last 4 days....I haven't even been able to get it to start after hours of tinkering with it.
     
  6. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i agree. get a good fire going with dry stuff, then toss the green stuff on top. it'll burn.

    please don't do the tire burning thing. there's good reason it is illegal in most states.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since you have green wood, you need a lot of heat & a lot of air.

    Get some dry branches. Get some dry bigger chunks of wood, like if you have any seasoned wood for the furnace???

    Get a bale of straw.

    Get a couple gallons of diesel fuel.

    Build a camp fire type thing of the dry branches, dry wood chunk or 2, have the green branches over the top of this, soak the green stuff down with the diesel fuel, put the straw bale in the middle, and light it.

    Be careful, flamable fuel like diesel will run, and will soak into you, and will flare up into a _very_ hot large flame for a bit. Understand what you are doing, as this is a somewhat dangerous condition.

    The straw bale is kindling, the dry branches & dry big chunks will catch fire & keep it burning, and the diesel will create enough heat & spread the fire to light up some of that green stuff. You need enough heat for long enough to dry out the green wood so it will also catch fire & continue the flames.

    You will get a lot of smoke from the diesel & the green wood, so expect a visit or call from the neighbors or authorities.

    A good 15 mph+ wind really helps, start the fire upwind & let it burn through the pile. OF COURSE this is a bad burning condition for spreading the fire & creating problems, so likely you won't be able to really do this, but if you are in the middle of 40 acres of plowed ground like my brush pile typically is, good stiff wind really helps it burn.

    Burning green stuff is just difficult, would be better to let it season for 6 months or so. You will have to pick up & reburn the outer edges several times, green brush just takes more BTU's of heat to dry out than what it actually produces so it puts itself out unless you supply more heat from the diesel fuel/ seasoned wood chunks and constantly push the edges in to the heat.

    --->Paul
     
  8. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all so much for your help. I'll try again when I can.
    It started pouring down rain yesterday evening again. Still pouring this morning, so it looks like today will be a no go. :(
    I'll try the diesel and straw and some dry wood. Finding dry wood is going to be a problem. It has rained for almost 19 days straight now.
    And they say we are in a bad drought here! Sheheeeshhh!
     
  9. billyj

    billyj Well-Known Member

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    Mom, I see some good ideas suggested to you and lot of them work and I see some that can be hazardous to your health,
    Go buy yourself a large bag of charcoal or two depending on the size of the pile. soak it with lighter fluid (diesel is ok wont flame up like gasoline) let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes before lighting. ( note charcoal must be under the pile) The charcoal will stay hot long enough to get something going and then just kept piling on. Remember not to burn on windy days and keep a water hose close by.

    Call you local fire dept. for thier help and advice.
    Where I live we must get a permit and call them
    before strikeing the match.
     
  10. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Before you spend too much money on those small things of lighter fluid....Coleman fuel is the same thing for a lot less. Well, it's less where I am that is.
     
  11. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

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    Okay, this might be a stupid question, but why not just let the brush pile sit there and rot?
     
  12. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    What....no FIRE???? What could you be thinking?

    LOL!!
     
  13. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    We don't have that much property and we use every bit of it. The other reason is that it is just ugly! LOL!
    And literally, there is tons of it. We have dropped 4 trees so far that were dead or unwanted. The wood is great, but the brush has got to go!
     
  14. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    Here is an idea...

    Fire needs, heat, fuel and oxygen(air). You have a better fire if you increase one or all of these. So increase the air. Dig a trench or two and build your brush pile of the trench, angle the trench towards the prevailing wind and if there is no wind a use leaf blower or something like that to get a really good draft going.

    Light a fire over the trench with your most combustible material then pile the brush on top, if the fire hesitates give it some air.
     
  15. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    a Bail of straw works a treat
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................What about a Wood Stove for your Home?? :) fordy
     
  17. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    forget the coleman fuel, gasoline and diesel. wish i had pix of my buddy who used this method, bad burns over his whole left arm and face. card board boxes and dry wood is how we burn green cut bush . start fire with the cardboard dry wood then feed in the green brush . usually cut fri/sat during the day then invite friends over for a marshmellow roast!like johns id of a blower! have to try that one!
     
  18. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I got some acreage, I started burning each spring like all the neighbors. But I eventually tired of breathing the neighbors' smoke, and assumed they didn't like mine. I realized there is a better way. Anything bigger than an inch, I chop up and burn in my wood stove over the winter. Smaller stuff I spread out and let it burn slowly, i.e. rot.

    If you don't have the room to spread it out, look into renting a chipper. A good sized one is important. We once bought a homeowners type from sears, but it was hard getting curved limbs or brush down the chute.

    There are alot of uses for the mulch - paths, covering gardens to reduce watering needs, etc.

    As more people move to the country, there will be more bans on burning, and people will have to be more creative on disposing of yard waste.
     
  19. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    We use old tires put on bottom get fire going put brush on to very very very hoy hoy hhoy fire will melt tin cans
     
  20. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    Being a good steward of the land is imperative, that you have very little land and need to utilize all avaialbe space is understandable.... A person doesnt have to burn the green wood as posted above a chipper wil reduce the pile to a small managable pile of woodchips which are useful in many applications.... composting them does take some time, but mixed in with green grass clippings will add carbon to the process to make a healthier compost. Woodchips spread around bases of shrubs hold in valueable moisture, although it does tend to cause some molds to grow on the base of the shrubs if placed to close and will asllow rodents to chew on the bark of trees and shrubs in some occasions [cats have a way of eepingrodents out of these places but not always]. Woodchips on your garden walkways or between your raised beds offer weed control and will eventually breakdown and add to the soil of your garden area too and allow a host of microbes to bring the added soil building other micobes into the area a a greater rate.

    The larger limbs while not as easy to cut up into firewood do burn a good hot fire and add to the ease of fire building for most people [a person doesnt have to cut as much kindling] the smaller pieces also fill air gaps in the firebox which allows the fire to burn longer with the fuel provided. a person has to buy less firewood from outside sources as it is already on site.

    Now dont take it the wrong way, I love a good hot outside fire, been known to burn one once inawhile here even burning house waste when the notion strikes [ok when it piles up and is more expedient to burn than to haul to the dumpsters in the winter] I aint an old posey sniffer, but i have found a good mix of woodchips in the compost pile offers some great soil after a couple years.

    Renting a chipper dont cost as much as buying one, and it gives a person an idea if they ever want to do it again in the future.... some people are prone to avoid mechanical devices. Anyhow there is alternatives to having ahuge pile of limbs outside your window to look at all summer long other than burniing or hauling away!

    William