Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Burn Day

We bought a residential burn permit (for disposing of yard waste only) from the North Lyon County Fire Protection District last fall, but then the weather turned on us and it was too unpleasant or we were too busy thereafter. The permit is good through May, and today's weather was ideal (virtually no wind, not too hot or too cold), so it was time to get rid of some of the debris that has been piling up.

Prepare to Burn

Lisa had all of this done before I even got outside. She'd raked a pile of debris a safe distance from the house and other flammables. She also had moved the Astro around to the opposite side of the house to keep it out of the way. She brought out the small propane tank with a weed burner attached, as well as the garden rake and a shovel. Finally, she ran the long hose from the nearest hydrant and attached the sprayer, for if you're going to set a fire, you'd better have a way to put it out!

Light It Up

Lisa used the weed burner to set the pile of debris on fire, and it burned quite easily. While one of us stayed close to the fire with a rake or shovel, the other got other stuff from other parts of the property and put it on the fire. Tumbleweeds burn very hot and very fast! (Watch The Trouble With Tumbleweeds for an entertaining explanation about them and what incredible pests they can be.) We carefully used the tools to squish the burnables down to make sure that no bits drifted away in the tiny amount of breeze we had this morning.

Damping Things Down

In case any stray bits did fly off the pile and lay undetected, Lisa sprayed down the area in front of the front gate and fence while I tended to the fire.

Prepare to Drown

As the fire died down, I brought the first of several buckets of water to start the process of extinguishing it. I did not have enough hands to film it, but despite the fire looking to be out, a nice cloud of steam came off the pile of ash when I dumped this bucket onto it.

Safeing the Burn

Besides being the son of a forest ranger and having spent many of my formative years living on US Forest Service bases, I have heard hundreds of public service announcements about how to put out a fire. Drown the fire, stir the ashes, drown them again, and repeat.


When the pile of muddy ash was no longer hot to the touch (as in I could stir the ash with my bare hands), we decided we'd done the deed properly.

At one point a white truck pulled up a block away from us and I thought it might have been someone from the city (it was not a NLCFPD truck) concerned about our burn. We do hear on the radio various call-outs about fires that sometimes turn out to be legal and permitted burns. There's no mechanism to inform the NLCFPD in advance that you are using your residential burn permit. We did make a good show of closely monitoring our fire, wielding our rake, shovel, and hose, and the truck went away, and as it left, I saw it didn't even have Nevada license plates, so it was probably not anything to do with us.
Tags: fire, house, lisa

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