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Thread: Not comprehending one of the basic elements, fire.

  1. #1

    Default Not comprehending one of the basic elements, fire.

    Probably everybody heard about this incident. Tragic the kid has to suffer due to such lack of foresight and just basic understanding of fire by all caregiver adults involved.


    http://globalnews.ca/news/3508455/pa...serious-burns/


    I'm not sure how somebody could be so completely oblivious as to the nature of fire, even pit fire, but fires can remain hot for a long long time. Dousing with a little water is not going to put any embers out that are covered by ash. Basically the water evaporates into steam on contact. Anybody I know realizes to really put out a fire takes copious amounts of water and stirring to put it out. Even at that point a fire smoulders and tries to restart and often succeeding after the water is evaporated.

    Who that lives in this province doesn't know for instance that forest fires can remain smouldering for months. That is the nature of fire. Fire pits are a microcosm of that.

    Is this lack of knowledge about a primary element due to the increasing lack of interaction with the natural world in present generations? Did anybody in this extended family ever camp, have a fire before? Does the fire department have to provide basic tutorials on understanding fire? (rhetorical question, obviously they do.) Cigarette butt tossers should be mandated to attend.

    I am sympathetic to the boy harmed by this fire. I am not sympathetic to the entire lack of understanding that allowed this incident to occur. While I think its positive that the parents now want to inform other parents of the nature of fire I'm astounded how little awareness there is of the dangers of improperly attended, improperly extinguished backyard fire pits. There seems to be an increasing lack of comprehension of basics.

    Nor is this isolated. Just in a quick search I found several instances of kids, toddlers, burned in fire pits, basically falling into a burning fire pit or one that was allegedly put out. Heres another recent one;

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/s...burns-1.911870

    This article mentions that 80% of pediatric campfire related injuries are caused by day old fires. All of these probably thought to be extinguished.


    https://campfiredefender.com/pages/c...ety-statistics


    Almost certainly this will feed further talk of outright bans of these just because of a basic lack of understanding of fire.

    Fire safety people, c'mon.

    Nor is this confined to children. 70% of the many adults that fall directly into a fire are under the influence of alcohol.

    flame away
    Last edited by Replacement; 07-06-2017 at 08:27 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Probably everybody heard about this incident. Tragic the kid has to suffer due to such lack of foresight and just basic understanding of fire by all caregiver adults involved.


    http://globalnews.ca/news/3508455/pa...serious-burns/


    I'm not sure how somebody could be so completely oblivious as to the nature of fire, even pit fire, but fires can remain hot for a long long time. Dousing with a little water is not going to put any embers out that are covered by ash. Basically the water evaporates into steam on contact. Anybody I know realizes to really put out a fire takes copious amounts of water and stirring to put it out. Even at that point a fire smoulders and tries to restart and often succeeding after the water is evaporated.

    Who that lives in this province doesn't know for instance that forest fires can remain smouldering for months. That is the nature of fire. Fire pits are a microcosm of that.

    Is this lack of knowledge about a primary element due to the increasing lack of interaction with the natural world in present generations? Did anybody in this extended family ever camp, have a fire before? Does the fire department have to provide basic tutorials on understanding fire? (rhetorical question, obviously they do.) Cigarette butt tossers should be mandated to attend.

    I am sympathetic to the boy harmed by this fire. I am not sympathetic to the entire lack of understanding that allowed this incident to occur. While I think its positive that the parents now want to inform other parents of the nature of fire I'm astounded how little awareness there is of the dangers of improperly attended, improperly extinguished backyard fire pits. There seems to be an increasing lack of comprehension of basics.

    Nor is this isolated. Just in a quick search I found several instances of kids, toddlers, burned in fire pits, basically falling into a burning fire pit or one that was allegedly put out. Heres another recent one;

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/s...burns-1.911870



    Almost certainly this will feed further talk of outright bans of these just because of a basic lack of understanding of fire.

    flame away
    We had a guy at work who flicked his cigarette butt when it was windy out. It was a huge paved lot so didn't think anything of it. But the wind carried it about 200 feet ended up igniting the bags we had all our nuts and bolts in . The fire spread quick catching the formans trailer on fire...lol
    Last edited by champking; 07-06-2017 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #3

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    I've mentioned previously that I have caught people at my place extinguishing cigarette butts in our outside planters. They try to do it quick so you don't notice. Of course you notice a day or so after that somebody used a planter as an ashtray and most times you know who. So many fires are started this way and people so oblivious. With some people they are purposely ignorant. With one individual, family member, I actually had to make them google fires started by cigarette butted in planters. The person still thought it was a hoax. Complete denial. The same person tosses cigarette butts anywhere.

    I've actually stopped having a few people over due to an absolute disregard shown. They just don't care, and they ignore any danger associated with their cigarette butts. They don't even know these contain accelerant. They actually haven't even given a thought to how cigarettes left in an ashtray just keep burning..

    I just dunno..
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  4. #4
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    When I heard the story on Global (the constant barrage of bleeding heart sympathies that they call news over the years is becoming really really old... but that's for another topic), I thought immediately something stinks. Sounds like they told the reporter they were burning "twigs" as part of spring clean up and that they then doused it with water. Must have been one hell of a twig fire for an extended period of time and perhaps a coffee can of water was used to put it out because 16 hours later it was still incredibly hot. Personally, I think they downplayed the intensity of the fire.

    Anyhoo, here's hoping the little guy recovers well and doesn't have any future health issues because of it.
    Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life

  5. #5

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    Poor kid. This was a very unfortunate instance. Yes, fires can do a slow burn for hours depending what they are fueled with. In the case of a small fire pit in a back garden one would have thought that it would have burned itself out faster than it did. The boy fell in 16 hours after it was supposedly extinquished. No doubt the parents feel very bad about this. It's not as if he was alone in the garden when he fell in. That could have been fatal. A very hard lesson to learn but the good part is that this story has given people a heads up to really douse small fires with plenty of water and make sure they are out.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    When I heard the story on Global (the constant barrage of bleeding heart sympathies that they call news over the years is becoming really really old... but that's for another topic), I thought immediately something stinks. Sounds like they told the reporter they were burning "twigs" as part of spring clean up and that they then doused it with water. Must have been one hell of a twig fire for an extended period of time and perhaps a coffee can of water was used to put it out because 16 hours later it was still incredibly hot. Personally, I think they downplayed the intensity of the fire.

    Anyhoo, here's hoping the little guy recovers well and doesn't have any future health issues because of it.
    Yeah, My take is burning a lot of brush and branches instead of bundling them and setting them out for pick up and mulching. That's fine, but almost anybody knows that dry branches burn real good and create quite a lot of charcoal. The thing particularly with burning branches is they burn quick, create bonfires, and create a lot of ash. I think essentially they put out the layer of ash. Whatever was under that ash was still smouldering charcoal. But basically any type of fire that burns for hours will retain heat and slow burn for even days. As a monitored experiment on a weekend under conditions without wind I noted a firepit type fire that retained enough heat to restart for almost 2 days.

    Theres two basic misunderstandings at work;

    1) how to properly put out a fire and the amount of water and stirring required to do that.

    2) How resilient fires are.

    Again its a day and age thing and I detect changes through time. Hardly anybody takes scouts anymore or goes to Hunter Training or Outdoor training. As I stated in present day we have a real disconnect from basic things. I mean fire is one of the basic elements. Mankind has never been that far removed from understanding it. As one looks through the internet the misperceptions, even stated on fire safety sites is incomplete, negligent, or not helpful. Anybody even researching is not being given adequate information online on how to properly manage and put out a fire. That 80% of pediatric firepit related injuries occurred the day after a fire is more than enough evidence people just don't comprehend fire.

    People don't even know the basic rules. Firepit must be 3M from any fenceline, structure, or trees or branches. Not even this is generally followed.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    . In the case of a small fire pit in a back garden one would have thought that it would have burned itself out faster than it did. The boy fell in 16 hours after it was supposedly extinquished. .
    Why would one think that?

    You've just furthered the miscomprehension of fire.

    Obviously insufficient water and stirring was used in "extinguishing the fire" which at no point was actually extinguished. Such a firepit fire, even a small one, can easily hold heat for twice that time duration if an appreciable fire was burning for any length of time. This is a basic understanding of fire. Cavemen understood fire better, and realized they could restart a fire that had even been rained on hours or a day after. How do people think it was so easy for prehistoric man to maintain, and even transport fire?

    Anybody that has been in the backcountry sleeping around a fire knows you can sleep next to it and it retains considerable heat all night and you can restart it easy, instantly, 8-10hrs later. Or even the next night.

    We live in modern times in an era of limitless possible knowledge and yet our understanding of a basic element has lower than Neanderthal comprehension.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  8. #8

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    Go to any campground though and you'll see that people just let them burn out or they just put a small bucket of water on them. I'll carry a multitude of small buckets (10-20) or even stretch the water line over to it. However, most people today just aren't exposed to either the knowledge or experience on many traditional behaviours.

    Eg I saw a guy leave his truck running the other day while he refuelled.
    People leave their cars running in the garage, open gas cans refill mowers etc near wall furnaces...
    Last edited by KC; 08-06-2017 at 04:00 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Go to any campground though and you'll see that people just let them burn out or they just put a small bucket of water on them. I'll carry a multitude of small buckets (10-20) or even stretch the water line over to it.
    Yep. I've seen people that think pissing on a fire or throwing beer on a fire (what a waste) puts it out. The standard sitting around a campfire fire requires a 3 gallon container full of water, or more than half of a 5 gallon container and stirring, to put it out. Typically you see people use a tea kettle or pot of water as if that's enough water. I rarely see people even stirring the fire as they pour water on it. The standard you see is people just pouring a bit of water over the top, seeing some smoke, dashing only the embers on surface, and figuring the fire is out.

    The misunderstanding is chronic and thus this latest incident (theres been countless) and thus this thread.


    edit to the edit. Or people that smoke while filling up and filling jerry cans. Or throw their cigarette butts around gas stations. next time at a gas station note all the cigarette butts on the asphalt.

    Leaving a truck running while refuelling? Wow.


    Personally I think there must be something wrong with people that prestart their vehicles in garages or attached garages. What are they thinking? I have a detached garage and I don't idle it in there.
    Last edited by Replacement; 08-06-2017 at 04:14 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  10. #10

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    Just as a side note on fire safety a lot of products, varnishes, paints, wood preservatives, Danish oil, Tung oil etc are SOOOOOO flammable. Some of these products will literally ignite with as much as solar heat. With a lot of these oils its recommended you wipe these down with rags. What should be in big bold letters on the cans is the rags will literally combust. If you're a careless type of painter that drops a lot and onto dry grass it can literally combust with sunlight or contact with air and through oxidization depending on product I had an idea these products would be compustible and so tested it out on a concrete poured pad. As much as 1hr in mid day sun and the rags with just residue of Danish oil or tung oil ignite on fire. I had a friend that nearly burned down his garage as the rag later ignited on his wooden work bench. Now those products are hazardous, the warning advisories are too small. Really in a font size I can hardly see. With all such rags you have to soak them in a 5 gallon pail of water to stop them being flammable.

    This can be a fire prevention thread.

    Also check your barbecues for any leaks. Hoses, burners, check out the lines, insects can get in the vent part.


    Also, don't do what the lady in the US did leaving a can of hairspray in a hot car. The can exploded and broke right through the windshield on driver side. If her head was in the way that would be bad. So many things people don't even think of that are flammable or explosive. Even a smartphone left in a hot car is a bad idea for phone and the car.
    Last edited by Replacement; 08-06-2017 at 04:31 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  11. #11

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    I think cigarette caused house/apartment fires are a lot more prevalent and concerning. This thread can just be about people who have no fire-sense.

  12. #12

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    Candles, how many times have they caused house fires. To many to count.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  13. #13

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    The way fire works it needs 3 things . Fuel, oxygen and spark .deprive one of these you don't have fire.

    When you see fire . It's the gases burning off the wood ...the gases are created via ' Pyrolysis ' <___ decomposing . The heat + oxygen ( or compression ) speeds this process up.

    This how a ' gasifier works ' how they create fuels from waste is by depriving the environment of oxygen , and harnessing the gases.

    I run my truck and generators off of wood waste , plastics , shells ...anything carbon base ...it's like the Flux compasitor ( flux composter) from back to the future .

    It wasn't the fire that hurt the kids , ( fire would have probably saved them ) . It was a Deprived fuel base ... why it stayed heated16 hours.

    This where the system messed up. They tell you to douse it ...when you shouldn't be adding so much fuel, then depriving
    Last edited by champking; 08-06-2017 at 08:39 PM.

  14. #14

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    ^I touched on a similar facet earlier, that dousing a fire without stirring it just creates an ash blanket over the redhot embers and in effect insulates them from going out. In another view its potential energy maintained by the insulating blanket of the ash. Adding water to that ash helps maintain it in place even if there is a breeze. But the heat is still contained within and with oxygen, will burn.

    But yeah, when the pile of embers is disturbed it can then release more of its heat after hours of it being more contained. One doesn't have to get too technical, the same thing happens with an oven door. The heat is contained and if you open a door the heat rushes out. Disturbing the ash by falling in it is in effect releasing a lot of stored heat all at once.
    Last edited by Replacement; 09-06-2017 at 10:52 AM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  15. #15

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    I will add, the water on top, also slows the fire because much of the fuel is wet and oxygen is restricted. This only delays the fire. Over time, the water evaporates from the underlying heat, the fuel drys out and oxygen regenerates the coals.

    Sometimes when I want to do a long slow charcoal BBQ, I take 4 or 5 briquettes and soak them in water and place them amongst the others just after the the others are getting going. They take a half hour or so to light and give the 'second wind' for a long steady heat.
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  16. #16

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    ^The Julia Childs of the barbeque.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  17. #17
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    More like Swedish Chef.

  18. #18
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    Impatience is likely playing a role here too. Someone wants a pile of branches gone, so they build a big fire and feed it as fast as they can. Then they don't want to mind the fire for hours while it while it burns down. Then they do a superficial and incomplete job of putting it out.
    A smaller fire that you stop feeding well before you want it out will be much easier to completely extinguish, and won't stay hot as long even if it is not extinguished properly. Think of that pile of branches as a month of free firewood instead of a mess that needs to go yesterday.

  19. #19

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    Another way to look at it is stoking. Feeding a twig and branch fire is like stoking coal in a steam boiler. Branches are great at producing considerable charcoal ember which does the initial burn off of gases quickly and then remains as hot ember buried under successive stoked layers if the fire is continuously fed. A branch fire particularly, whether it be hardwood or softwood burn produces a lot of stored charcoal. People seem to forget that. The impatient part of it comes in where the fire will burn mainly what is on the top or exposed to air. By feeding continual layers of branches on the fire you in effect bury the rest of the combustion which was still not anywhere near completed. That combustible product remains and is not dissipated.

    PRT\s point was interesting as well regarding moistened charcoal.

    This nature of stoked fire really has a lot of stored energy and by the method in which the fire was maintained. Creating a bonfire, and continually feeding logs to have a rip roaring fire does the same thing. Except that those produced and buried embers are even bigger. All those embers contain potential unused energy that will be released with oxygen. As soon as the pile is disturbed, for instance by somebody falling in it.

    Theres implications here for the City as well. At different events like Deepfreeze, Silver skate, Flying canoe I wonder if all the fires are entirely extinguished. Also for the COE parks that have fireplaces, communal large firepits, etc. All of those are potential hazards and that are unsupervised post event. Some of these areas are also unlit at night. Somebody could walk right into one in the dark.

    Campgrounds with group camping areas like Whistlers in Jasper or even Elk Island Astotin lake area also have the huge communal firepits creating a potential hazard in unlit night time conditions. Both are dark preserve types of places. Elk Island particularly great for seeing stars, but not so great for walking in the dark.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  20. #20

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    I remember camping near an old coal mine and I hauled a 20 pound chunk of hard coal and placed it at the bottom of the fire pit and built the fire over top. For the first couple of hours, it really impeded the fire but the long steady heat lasted all night long. In the morning the pit was level with ash and just warm as my friend began building a new fire on top. I just took a stick, kicked over the coals underneath and threw in some branches. Instant bonfire without even a match.
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