Monday, October 09, 2006


We took a break from working on the barn last Saturday. Instead we decided to burn weeds. The field out in front of the house is about an acre and a half. The weeds there weren’t very tall, but they were quite dense near the creek. We linked the six or seven hoses (175 – 200’) we have scattered around the ranch and attached one end to the faucet in the center of the field. We coiled the excess hose near the base of the faucet.

Roger lit the fire on the south west side and began working north and east. At first the progress of the fire was slow and quite controllable. We had little difficulty ‘directing’ it where we wanted it to go. I was watering the boundaries and he was lighting small fires to keep things burning in the center. The saturated ground and vegetation kept the fire from burning beyond the boundaries we set. Easy, right?

For some reason we got the bright idea that we could start another fire adjacent to the first one and speed things up a bit. Roger worked the second fire with a blanket while I controlled the direction of the first with the hose.

Unfortunately the farther from the faucet I went the more difficult it became to drag the end of the hose. Also in the denser vegetation the fire began to produce a lot of smoke. I was on the down wind side of the burn area and was starting to feel like a Virginia ham.

I was so intent with my part of the project that I did not realize that Roger’s fire was burning towards me and also towards an area near the creek that I had not yet watered. The fire was also in the process of cutting off my escape route. I tried to pick up my speed but the fire was faster. To add insult to injury much of the hose I was using was coiled in an area where the weeds were now burning.

My multi-tasking job failed miserably. I was trying to rescue my hose, water the weeds and catch my breath and not doing any of the above efficiently.

Roger to the rescue. We traded places. I stood on top near the road (up wind from the fire) with the blanket while he dragged the hose around. My hero!

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