How to safely burn a large brush pile?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I have a brush pile now that is about 15ft wide and 6ft tall. It's getting ridiculous and I need to know how to safely burn it. I've done it b4 and have little to no trouble once it get's going but I often have trouble safely starting it from a distance. Should I take an old bottle with newspaper in it lit and through it in the gas sprinkled pile or should I use kerosine or something? What is the safest yet effective way? I'm going to have my water bucket and hose there the whole time of course too in case it gets a little too high of flame.
  2. jasonlandscape

    jasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 124

    use diesel or kerosene an just light it with a long stick or something...diesel won't explode like gasoline. maybe contact local fire department and let them know.
  3. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I'm thinking I could maybe burn it down little by little using the hose to squirt it every now and then when the flame gets beyond my comfort zone, then let it build up again. Just until it get's the pile down to like 4ft or less. It wouldn't matter much if nothing was near it, but it's just to the side of a large tree which limbs are only like 10ft above it. If the flame get's too high, u know what happens then! Maybe I'll just pour deisel or kerosine on a bit of it at a time, til it's safely low. I just don't want to create too big of a flame.
  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,336

    Maybe UNDER A TREE is NOT the best place for a burn pile?
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Tell me about it, but there is no other place. THis is where we've always burned stuff. Maybe cause the grass didn't grow too good there. The tree is very old and about 8ft circumfrance. THe first branch on that side is like 15-20 foot up so as long as I can keep the flames only a few feet, I'm usually ok. Just never had a pile this big. Maybe I should knock 1/2 to the side away from the rest, burn the rest down and then throw that back in and finish it.
  6. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    Most people have no idea of the power of fire. Obviously you don't either.

    A hose will not even begin to control a fire of that size. The small amount of water will evaporate before it does anything.

    Depending how dry the material is, flames can reach 20 feet high.

    A fire that size needs to be a least 150 feet away from any structure/foliage for safety without even considering wind speed and direction.

    Do yourself a favor and contact your fire department for advise before you do something you'll regret.
  7. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    That pile's nothing. Mine are typically about 20 - 30 feet across & about 15 feet tall when they get burned. I wait until it's raining or has recently rained then burn it.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    you will have to baby sit it.

    Like you I have always used something like gas t oget it going, one that large will take all day to burn out...

    just be sure to have a water hose long enoulf to reach the pile. just incase things get outta control .

    Good Luck
  9. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Just throw a match on it and keep the beer safely back and cold.
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    pull the pile apart and start slow

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