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View Full Version : Can grass clippings catch on fire?


oaktree59
08-16-2007, 09:48 PM
I put grass clippings on this guys land and he wants me to stop. He is afraid that the pile is going to catch on fire. Is that possible?

CLARK LAWN
08-16-2007, 10:56 PM
i have dumped in the same spot for over 4 years and it has not cought on fire yet it is pretty hot in the center but there is also alot of moisture in there so i doubt it will spontaniously combust but if someone were to light it it might burn

eaglejrl
08-16-2007, 11:28 PM
As a kid I used to haul square bails of hay. I was always told you never put wet hay in a barn because it could catch fire. As I understand, it takes the right conditions for spontaneous combustion to occur. It just so happens a school playground caught on fire last week from spontaneous combustion. Here is the link to the story.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/081407dnmetplaygroundfire.2f9b9ce8.html

elshauno
08-16-2007, 11:40 PM
I know for a fact that linseed soaked rags will catch fire if left out for about a week. So I must agree with Eagle it is possible for spontaneous combustion to occur with wet grass under the right conditions.

DOLMARatOS
08-17-2007, 01:01 AM
We have seen piles of grass smoking in the right conditions.

Here are some tips. We dump on a back lot of farm-land. About once a week, we fire up the Skid-Steer and spread the piles out. This allows them to dry cool. (Same as letting hay dry out before and after bailing).

Our practice is to spread out the piles so that when they decay, the combustible gases and heat can dissipate quickly.

David Hartzog
08-17-2007, 10:09 PM
This hay was put up in barn before it dryed out $20,000
up in smoke.

David Hartzog
08-17-2007, 10:11 PM
Thats charlie my son that was kicked out of school go to off topics. he is a good kid..

Supper Grassy
08-17-2007, 10:12 PM
Wow, we see what hay does

newz7151
08-18-2007, 12:25 AM
Thats charlie my son that was kicked out of school go to off topics. he is a good kid..

Why is your son trying to conceal a cigarette lighter in his left hand?

David Hartzog
08-18-2007, 11:46 PM
Why is your son trying to conceal a cigarette lighter in his left hand?

no no i took it from him i was holding it.

David Hartzog
08-18-2007, 11:46 PM
oooh crap how do i delete that post ......

MOW ED
08-19-2007, 07:39 AM
I put grass clippings on this guys land and he wants me to stop. He is afraid that the pile is going to catch on fire. Is that possible?

It is an unwarranted fear. When grass decomposes (or any organic material for that matter) it releases heat. There is much science behind this and I am not going to go into a chemistry lesson here. If the heat is not allowed to dissipate and an adequate oxygen source is near then spontaneous combustion may occur under very specific conditions. A cotton cloth (organic) soaked in linseed oil and balled up will generate heat. That cloth balled up in a sealed container may heat a little but is oxygen starved. That cloth in a sealed container of water will do nothing. Grass in the open will decompose, put your hand in there and it will be hot but it will not burn openly. As far as the Texas playground goes, there was a point source that heated those chips to their ignition temp. Now go to all those garden centers that you know of and see huge piles of chips and mulch, they are not burning are they. I know we strayed here but almost anything will burn under the right conditions but the grass pile is no major concern. Stay safe.