So, my wife started our woods on fire

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,483
Michigan
Last Sunday, my wife cleaned out our fire pit and dumped the ashes where we have been doing all winter. Problem was is there is no more snow, and we've had a dry spell here in Michigan, she thought the ashes were cold. I was enjoying a cup of coffee, when she comes busting in wild eyed, telling me "I need you outside." By the look on her face, I knew, something was dead, broken, or some other thing that wasn't good. I put on my muckers, and busted it out the door only to see my neighbors woods on fire. We ran back in and grabbed some pump up sprayers. While my wife was filling those, I stomping and swept everything I could, but it just kept spreading. It hit a small woodpile that was by my garage, which immediately took off, then hit an Arborvitae, that took off like a torch. That's when I knew I had to call the FD. Fire Chief was the first to roll in, and asked what happened. We've had contact in the past, when I started our field on fire for a controlled burn, and the wind swirled and that was that. I explained it was a mistake my wife made, and totally accidental. within 10 minutes the first rig showed up, and started to haul out the big hose. Wife was in tears, and apologized to the Chief. He was very kind, and told her it was an accident, and not her fault, it's what we do. Then an even bigger rig rolls in and hauls out an even bigger hose and starts blowing water 50 into the woods. They had it under control within 15 minutes, and were very professional. Great group of guys, all volunteer.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
915
MA
My dad or grandfather lit our woods on fire burning leaves 50 years ago. Ran out with shovels to put out before it really got going.
 
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Nate R

Member
Nov 5, 2015
46
Wisconsin
Glad it wasn't worse, and that she caught it right away! It happens, ESPECIALLY this time of year in the midwest. A good reminder that I need to order a fire extinguisher (and maybe a pump sprayer?) for our dry (no well/water) cabin.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
408
California redwood coast
Good to hear all ended well.

National Forest wood gathering permits around here require a long handle shovel and a fire extinguisher to be kept nearby, but still I'd be wary. It's amazing how the smallest unexpected thing can start catastrophically huge fires: bullet hitting rock, post hole digger hitting a rock, trailer chains dragging are three examples I've read about in northern California. I recall one in Colorado where a woman was burning letters, I believe from a recently ex-partner, starting a devastating wildfire. And fireworks (not a surprise) from a gender revealing pyrotechnic started a big fire in S.Cal last yar which killed at least one fire fighter.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,483
Michigan
Glad it wasn't worse, and that she caught it right away! It happens, ESPECIALLY this time of year in the midwest. A good reminder that I need to order a fire extinguisher (and maybe a pump sprayer?) for our dry (no well/water) cabin.
She had come back into the house, when she noticed smoke coming from behind our detached garage. She checked and saw it set our vinyl siding on fire. That's when she came running into the house. This fire would have laughed a fire extinguisher.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,483
Michigan
Glad it wasn't worse, and that she caught it right away! It happens, ESPECIALLY this time of year in the midwest. A good reminder that I need to order a fire extinguisher (and maybe a pump sprayer?) for our dry (no well/water) cabin.
These guys had a really good technique, they used a broom with short bristles to shove the burning leaves back into the already burned area. Worked like a charm, and the hose guys worked to try to get behind them to put out any hot spots. Sad note, the Chief said earlier in the day, they responded to a brush fire. Guy started the fire and somehow fell into it. He was in the hospital with 3rd degree burns, and was not expected to survive.:(
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
717
Northwest Lower Michigan
I always keep the garden hose within reach and already on, and never leave the fire unattended. If the fire starts getting too big, spray it down some. Wouldn’t want to catch my woods on fire, it is nearby. Thankfully that woods shields me from a lot of wind but I still won’t burn if it’s windy.

When I was a kid, this family a few houses down the road caught the field behind their house on fire I don’t know how many times and had to call the FD. I got a chuckle because their last name was fitting. Burns.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
Happy to hear that it turned out all right. Their were quite a few fires around here yesterday. The conservation department did a prescribed burn about a 1/4 mile away as the crow flies.....maybe 600 acres. My father wasn't aware they were burning and saw ashes falling out of the sky at his house so he shot over toward my place and checked on things for me. He later saw the signs that mdc set up to block roads and notify people so they wouldn't report to the fire department. Nothing to be concerned about other than it was fairly smoky at the house yesterday evening. They do a lot of prescribed burns which I am all for. We are always vigilant though because their are some old timers around that will just set the woods on fire to kill off the underbrush and not give you or the fire department any warning.
 
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tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
459
Erin, WI
Wisconsin has a burn notice weather statement for today. Real low humidity.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,483
Michigan
I always keep the garden hose within reach and already on, and never leave the fire unattended. If the fire starts getting too big, spray it down some. Wouldn’t want to catch my woods on fire, it is nearby. Thankfully that woods shields me from a lot of wind but I still won’t burn if it’s windy.

When I was a kid, this family a few houses down the road caught the field behind their house on fire I don’t know how many times and had to call the FD. I got a chuckle because their last name was fitting. Burns.
I wee bit too early to have the hoses out, got down to 23 the other night, we also do not have enough hose to reach that far. She didn't purposely start the fire and then walked away, it was a total accident.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
717
Northwest Lower Michigan
I wee bit too early to have the hoses out, got down to 23 the other night, we also do not have enough hose to reach that far. She didn't purposely start the fire and then walked away, it was a total accident.
Yes too cold for that here too. Was 15f this morning.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
325
Colorado
I know she feels bad and sure glad everything is okay and not worse than it was --terrible--trauma.. My late husband when he was a boy with a group of other kids started a fire in Michigan and the volunteer fire people all came out to put the fire out..All the guilty ones ran and swore to each other never to mention it. They were scared that their families would find out . His grandfather had to go out of the house to help fight it with his father and he really felt bad he told me...Kids...But things do happen and we all do the best that we can to solve the problems...Could of happened to anybody for it was a accident..Chin up young lady and get your husband to empty the ash can now...clancey
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
As much as I hate to admit it, I caught our woods on fire about 4 years ago. On a Wednesday I was burning leaves, twigs and walnuts in our outdoor fire pit. Two days later, late that following Friday, I decided to clean out the fire pit, there wasn't a fire in it for 2 days, so I gave it no mind. About 1 and a half hour later, I was upstairs in our bedroom and happened to glance out the window, only to see a good size semi circle of fire in the back. I had to do a double take on it, it was already dark out, and it looked so surreal. Then it hit me, the woods were on fire. I tried to rake and stomp it out, but it was no use, so my wife called the fire department. We have a volunteer fire department that comes from 10 miles away, but were there in 15 minutes. They drove around on UTVs with water, a blower and chainsaw, and had it under control pretty quick. One of the first questions they asked was how far away the US Army Corps of Engineers property is, which is about 200 feet. I guess if the fire got on Corps land it was a whole different ball game. I asked them if I would get a bill over it, and all he said was "you pay your taxes, don't you."

It turns out that walnuts can smolder for quite a while.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
Been there. Not a good feeling. Totally embarrassing.
Yes, it was. Makes for a good story now, hopefully to never be repeated.
 

wishlist

Minister of Fire
Mar 28, 2011
560
Corunna, Michigan
It happens sodbuster . Daughter and son-in-law are both on the local volunteer fire department. We had an extremely dry spell here in mid Michigan during March. Megan said she would finish one brush fire and get a call to go on another . Fortunately out county had a burn ban put out and it seemed to subside along with a bit of rain . They did get a couple calls due to the railroad starting some small fires as well .
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
My neighbor across the road has been burning his place off the last couple days. He has around 750 acres. We shall see if it jumps the road or not. It's been very windy the last week or so.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
20210406_194519.jpg
Well as I figured the fire jumped the road and is on me now. I just stepped out to check on it and saw from the house that it crossed the road. This pic is from a ways away probably a 1/4 mile on the far end of the property. The conservation department will be out in full force if it doesn't rain tonight and passes through my place. They border me on the east side.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
Well as I figured the fire jumped the road and is on me now. I just stepped out to check on it and saw from the house that it crossed the road. This pic is from a ways away probably a 1/4 mile on the far end of the property. The conservation department will be out in full force if it doesn't rain tonight and passes through my place. They border me on the east side.
Sounds like it could be a sleepless night. Does your neighbor know? Why is the conservation dept involved?

Edit; never mind about why the conservation dept would be involved. You said if the fire passes through your place.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
Yea I'll be up all night just to keep a eye on it. Hopefully it rains like its forecasted to tomorrow. Oh he knows lol. This happens every other year. He burns his whole place....around 750 acres every year. He's been burning since saturday and he kinda has a I don't give a d**n attitude. He's notorious around here for starting fires but honest to God for some reason the law won't touch the guy.