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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.survivalism,misc.rural
Subject: Re: Outside fire question
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2008 00:11:28 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Thu, 6 Mar 2008 16:14:50 -0800 (PST), wrote:

>1) How can I burn stuff that is slightly wet?  If I wait for these to
>dry I must probably wait in summer as it rains constantly here in

If you can get the outer layer to burn then all you need is a supply of forced air. A
leaf blower operated at just above idle is my source.  Light the fire on one end of
the pile.  Blow air into the fire toward the other side so that hot combustion gases
are blown into the damp leaves.  They will rapidly dry out and burn.

A couple of weeks ago I helped a neighbor with just about the same problem as yours.
He had about 100 feet of ditch filled with damp leaves.  He'd tried to get them going
several times with flammable liquids.  I wandered over with my el-cheapo hand-held
leaf blower and burned them for him.  He's still talking about it :-)

>2) What is the safest way to burn stuff like this? I really don't want
>a fire to get out of hand, you know what I mean.

Usual stuff.  Maintain a cleared area around the fire, have a gravel or fire rake and
a garden hose on hand, don't burn during high wind conditions, etc.  Common sense,

>3) There are fabricated fire pits. Can I buy a cheap one and burn
>stuff leaves and branches there? Or do you have a better idea?

Just pile the limbs up on top of the leaves and let them all burn at once.  Anything
other than an open pile is more trouble than it's worth with damp fuel.  Most folks
around here, myself included, have a burn barrel - a 55 gallon drum with some holes
punched in the side to let in air - but I'd never waste time and effort trying to
burn leaves and sticks in it.  It's for flammable garbage.  I pile leaves and brush
up and have a weenie roast.


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