FIRE! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A neighbor of mine had a field fire today.

I received a hysterical phone call from HIS neighbor about fire and animals and could I help.

I like to think of myself as being WAY overprepared at this point. Still, it took me almost 15 minutes to get ready to go.

I forgive myself 3 of those minutes to put on appropriate clothes and boots.

But then I had to run all over the house for:

1) Gloves (couldn't find any 'cept ski gloves)

2) Hat

3) Fire extinguisher

4) FRS radios

5) First Aid kit

6) Water (had to settle for Apple juice as water was cleverly hidden in remote recess in garage)

7) Pistol (animals get spooked)

8) Gas Mask

9) Protective jacket (leather)

10) Shovel

So, I used my motorcycle gloves since it was sitting next to the car.

Anyway, I looked silly going back and forth. I never DID find a shovel, but DID have a hatchet. And that list is all I could think of in the adrenaline rush of the moment.

*sigh* I need to prepare for this in the future. If the fire had gotten out of control, it could've burned this side of the valley down - including my house.

My point is, this type of emergency doesn't fall into the other preparation threads; it's not bug out bag, it's not long term, and the tools are needed with instant access.

As it was, another neighbor was able to contain the fire long enough until help arrived. In so doing, he used up 5 large fire extinguishers, and inhaled a lot of smoke.

We're taking HIM out to dinner next week!


-- Jollyprez (, August 09, 1999


a drill in panic mode...

an exercise in common sense...

an alteration of items for the next unexpected event...

-- Randolph (, August 09, 1999.


For years I had made fun of firemen, calling them hosers and whatnot. They would congregate in the lunch room each morning gossiping about the horrible events they had witnessed or heard about the night before. I never could understand their attraction to horror.

This spring while burning cut brush on my property, the wind picked up. I live on the edge of a state forest. Needless to say the fire spread. I'm standing there with my garden hose spraying and spraying. After about 15 minutes I finally accept that I cannot beat this fire alone. I run into the house and dial 911. That's the only time I have ever done that in my life. By the time help arived I'm standing there crying trying to keep the back of my house wet enough so it won't catch.

Never have I been so grateful for the hard work and teamwork these firemen and women showed and gave to me that day. Never once did any one at any time ridicule me for my mistake. I will never disrespect an emergency responder again. Let them tell their stories and jokes. They have earned it.

BTW, 15 acres burnt that day. Without the helicopters it could have run into the thousands. That neighbor of yours deserves every bite.


-- R. Wright (, August 10, 1999.

We have simple respirator masks near the front door. Shoes, fire extinguisher too. Ya never know. You did really well for a first-timer!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 10, 1999.

Rick, Crying? What a fag.

-- whee (, August 10, 1999.

whee....that handle must be a discription of your favorite hand-held buddy, eh?

-- Will continue (, August 10, 1999.

My idiot brother nearly burned down our house, and my mother's house, over my protests that the "wind always picks up when you start burning," as it sucks the oxygen out of the air, creating its own wind. In spite of this they were determined to burn. We had to call the Conservation Dept. to put out their "the wind picked up" fire. We had a moonscape in the once beautiful woods behind us for two or three years.

Rather than adding to the pollution filled atmosphere, why not put the brush pile at the back of your property and let it attract wildlife. We intentionally make brush piles for habitat. This in addition to planting butterfly and bird gardens, and habitat for wildlife has helped keep our vegetable garden virtually pest free. We may have an occasional horn worm, but nothing more. And even large brush piles break down to create wonderful composted soil over time.

-- gilda (, August 10, 1999.

I had a friend (blond of course) who decided she was going to spend the winter in the hills of South Dakota.This was about 10 years ago and her purpose was to read,meditate,lose weight,quit smoking and just generally spend the winter rather incommunacado with civilization.She winterized an old barn and stored canned food and got a dog and put in a wood stove.

Snow was on the ground and she had dug a pit for her ashes. (you can see where this is going, can't you?) She had been there about a month when she dumped her ashes one day without making sure they were completely out and covered. The next thing she heard was the noise and when she went out the door there was a wall of flame coming at her. Luckily(for her) she could get to her car and it started and she was able to escape with her car and dog(no ID, clothes,food or possessions) and summon help.

Every kind of help had to be summoned including planes dumping water,firefighters of all kinds including NG. Over 2,000 acres burned that day and her bill for this fiasco (negligence) was over $200,000. Needless to say, she is persona non grata in S.Dak.

The point of this story being, how many people will start fires in their homes, apartments, parks, bug-outs in forestry or state land, without the knowledge or realization of its dangers and without the equipment to control it? In a stressful situation and attempting to keep warm or cook food, safety is not always a consideration. Or maybe, I should put it this way, the brain is not engaged.

-- y2klady (, August 10, 1999.

#1 event 1st week of 2000: uncontrollable fires.

Hhmm, if uncontrollable, won't that be a main concern the 2nd week too? 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 10, 1999.

y2k lady, I'm sorry to say that most people don't understand how easily fire can get out of control. For years I've been surrounded with beautiful woods, and hundreds of oxygen creating trees. Then a nitwit from California moved in, has the trees logged, leaving huge tops and dead brush laying sprawled everywhere. Now that we are in a drought situation, if a fire was started, we would be living next to a tinder box. When I asked why he did this, (he didn't need money) he said it was good for the forest. Yeah sure!

There's a right way and a wrong way to log. And most loggers, including this one, don't give a damn about the right way. All they see is dollars.

A guy from the lumber yard told me that most of the good lumber is sent to Japan and the government allows our National forests to be logged for 10 cents on the dollar. A house in Japan takes most families three generations to pay it off. Aren't timber corporations wonderful!! Keep on cutting those trees and see how many more of your grandchildren suffer from asthma and breathing problems.

-- gilda (, August 10, 1999.

A couple of overlooked items for your BOB & SUE kits that contribute greatly to your well being after an event are:

A couple of family snapshots

A list of phone numbers and maybe addresses of loved ones

A small love note in your kid's and possibly spouse's pack, in case you get separated

when smoke is in the air, or waters flowing over the roads, it's too late to think clearly.

-- flora (***@__._), August 10, 1999.

YUP! Wouldn't have a hose-head's job for the WORLD!! But, having worked shoulder to shoulder to some of the best on some patients, and having covered their a$$e$ at grass fires, AND having fed and watered them at large city fires, i STILL call 'em hose heads, though it's said in a different way than most.


Dumbest people in world: Volunteer Fire Fighter 2nd dumbest Paid Fire Fighters 3rd dumbest Flaging and Communication workers at Sports Car Tracks

Vollies got INTO burning Buildings, for no pay Paid at least get paid for it F&C folks got TOWARD the rolling, flaming cars instead of away

-- Chuck, a night driver (, August 10, 1999.

Gilda, fully grown trees don't release net oxygen to the air. They breathe it out during the day, then release CO2 at night. They can't keep it - if they keep the carbon they have to grow to make use of it, and a tree can only be so big before the top can no longer feed from the roots. (Yes, some get bigger than others, but there is a limit, different for each species.) So a fully grown forest does not add oxygen to the air in nearly the amount a young forest does.

Which is NOT to say that I approve of bad forest management practices.

-- Paul Davis (, August 10, 1999.

Paul, you knew what I meant. You also know that I was talking about the exchange in the stomatal structure of leaves--the every 24 hour cycle of zillions of stomata opening and closing, aborbing sunlight, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water.

When idiots slash and burn, the loss of the energy that maintains every organism, and every cell on this earth is diminished. Sunlight, water and trees, the three biggies, especially water. Of course the ocean recycles most of the water, but the trees produce oxygen and remove air pollution as they lower the temperature, and release moisture into the air. A human being is 70% water--that stuff we pollute and waste by the millions of gallons everyday.

I'm not against ever cutting another tree, but when people have their property logged by those who care only for profit, and care little about the young trees they destroy getting to the mature trees, the destruction they leave in their wake is criminal. Someday a future generation will look back on our generation as the world's rapists.

-- gilda (, August 11, 1999.

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