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Author Topic: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!  (Read 27636 times)

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Offline WDH

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Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« on: February 09, 2007, 10:03:25 pm »
I thought ya'll might like to see a post on controlled or prescribed burning.  I burned several planted loblolly pine stands today on my property to remove understory hardwood and pine regeneration.  Here are a couple of the stands before burning.  They are 19 years old:



 

 
You need good firebreaks to keep the fire where it is supposed to be and not on your neighbor!


 
A drip torch is used to set the fire.  There is a fuel mixture in the can.  The fuel drips out on the burning wisk and a droplets of fire fall on the forest floor to ignite the stand.



 Here is my fellow forester, Mike, setting fire:


 


More to come...........
 


Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 10:13:15 pm »
Setting the backfire. Note the firebreak::



The burn progresses:


 


It got pretty smoky!



Here is my other helper, my bloodhound, Scarlet.  She is a constant companion in the woods.  Here primary job was to chase the rabbits flushed by all the activity.  She did a great job 8).



 After the burn:






 

We burned 3 stands today, about 25 acres before the rains came.  I have two more to go!

 

 


 


 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline mikeandike

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 10:23:34 pm »
Very cool..

Ilove and am a great respector of fires. Looks like a
very professional and orderly burn. Way to go. That
sure looks good.

Do you have to remove larger branches, trunks, etc
so it will burn out fast.?

Thanksfor the pics.
Looking for a slabber
WMLT40HD

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 10:39:36 pm »
Thanks for sharing WDH. Looks like a nice stand of timber coming along. Maybe the smoke will even kill off some adult borers in the bark. Wishful thinking maybe on my part. Sure looks like a nice park. Was this a hardwood site before the plantation? The site reminds me of 35 year old red pine.  ;D Your not concerned with nutrient loss?

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 10:40:35 pm »
No.  Nothing was removed.  However, the stand was reasonable free of large brush piles or big wads of debris.  Regular downed dead logs and limbs are usually just left and burned through.  A downed log may burn for a while (sometime a day or two), but that is not a problem.  The key too, is managing the wind.  You want the fire to back into the wind to keep it under control and not let it get too hot.  If there is a lot of debris and you burn with the wind versus against it, the fire gets too much oxygen and will race away!!  It will also get too hot and could scorch the pine needles of your crop trees.  It can jump the fire line if it races away with the wind uncontrolled.  That is why they call it a controlled burn!

You can start a back fire then move ahead a few yards and start another strip.  Then, the part that burns with the wind quickly runs into the backfire it is facing, so things stay under control.

Keeping the neighbors happy can be a big problem.  Smoke scares them and they don't like smoke blowing onto their property.  That makes buring much problematic these days.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 11:09:34 pm »
Swamp,

These are old field plantations.  The best possible site for a plantation.  Residual fertilizer and no hardwood competition.  Planted in 1988 as part of the CRP program where the government incented landowners to place marginal agricultural land back into trees.

Nutrient loss is a concern.  There is a loss of nitrogen thru volatilization from the fire.  That hurts.  However, some phosphorus and potassium become more available and provide an immediate benefit.  The loss of nitrogen is bothersome.  But, it is a trade-off to keep the early successional weeds and forbes that the wildlife like, otherwise the understory hardwoods shade everything out.  That is why I am doing the burning.  I got turkey, deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, lots of wild hogs (THE SCOURGES!!), quail, and a bunch of song birds.  Maybe the occasional bear wandering thru as some are in the area.

I did fertilize one stand with nitrogen and DAP after the first thinning.  I have not burned it yet, but really looks great.  I hope to burn it in the next week or two before it gets too warm.  That same stand was pruned to 18 feet 7 years ago (by me!!  That was some job!    That will put forearms on you!)  Sgtmaconga got some drought killed trees from this stand to saw on his new TK 1220 for his horse barn.  I am interested in seeing some pics of the lumber.  Wide growth rings, but a higher proportion of latewood to earlywood than in normal management, so the density holds up pretty well.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 11:49:23 pm »
A couple of thoughts.  To me, it looks like fuel moisture was a little too high.  I like a little bit taller flame run.  Back in my serious burning days we wanted just a little scortch, help in removing lower branches.  We worked the weather real hard, one year we burned nearly 10,000 acres, all of it intentional by the way.  Good looking stands, apparently you have been on a burn schedule for a while. 

We have a harder time burning in Texas, now.  Insurance has gone out of sight, smoke control has gotten tighter and tighter, and haze over the major airports has been a booger bear.

I think brush control is more important than any loss of nutrients, particularly nitrogen.  Pines can grow in sterile sand, not well, but live.  All things being equal, the burn far out weighs the loss of nutrients.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 11:56:02 pm »
Yes, this burn was on the cool side.  I pushed to get it done today before a rain came in, but all in all, it turned out pretty good.  I want to burn the next two stands a little hotter.

Burning 10,000 acres (and all of it intentional) is a huge job.  Probably had many nights in the woods!   
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2007, 12:01:21 am »
10,000 was back in my state forest service days, had a really good couple of crews, and received awards several years running for the amount of burn.  This was back in the days after Smokey let up a little and we could finally get after some of the brush build up we had gotten over the years.  burning was my favorite of activities, we could do more to transform a stand in a series of burns than any other practice.  Now they tend to use herbicides, I still think fire is the best solution to many of the southern management problems.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline Kcwoodbutcher

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 02:41:26 am »
I've got me one of them big red dogs- Otis . I can't wait till he grows up and stays out of mischief ( he's a year and a half ) . Bloodhounds are not the kind of dog that sleeps on the porch all day.
My job is to do everything nobody else felt like doing today

Offline sgtmaconga

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 04:40:16 am »
Tell the lady i said hy WDH. was eather of these burns where me and you walked?
Measure twice cut once

Offline tcsmpsi

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 07:44:30 am »
Good looking stuff, WDH.   Now, I've got something to heart of yours.   :D ;)


Ahhh, now I see Ranger, that's why you always getting into my free matches.  Firebug.   :D
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Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 08:07:06 am »
T. Ranger,

Now I have an expert to refer all my burning questions to!  Here is the first one:  If the fuel load is low, would you use a head fire to pick up the heat?  Second, is it safe to mix gasoline with the diesel fuel for the torch (3 diesel to 2 gas in proportion is what I have been told) or do you have to use kerosene?
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline WDH

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2007, 08:11:53 am »
KCwoodbutcher,

Otis, I like that name.  No, they are not slow and lazy dogs, that is a TV misconception.  You can't slip off from them though.  They will track you down!

Sgtmaconga,

Miss Scarlet says hello.  She misses the logging!  No, that was not one of the stands that we cut in.  I am going to burn that one in about a week, though, when I get the right weather and wind direction so I don't smoke out the neighbors.  How did the lumber from those pruned plantataion logs look after you cut them?
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2007, 09:36:08 am »
WDH, headfires can get you excited in a hurry, there are a few times I have used em, but, only after I have a good burn from the firelanes, and then to clean up the last part at the end of the day, or up the heat a little if the humidity comes up in the evening.
Be careful out there, I was the first state forester to receive a burning citation for a fire that got away from a crew when a local front blew up on them, I got the ticket cause I was the boss, and 40 miles away at the time!  Not that me being there would have changed anything, one of the freaks of nature ya get now and then.

Mixture of fuels is a little dicey.  To much of one or the other and the results can be disappointing or exciting.  I usually mixed 3-2-1 the last one being burned motor oil.  The mix has to be played with to get it right out of the drip torch.  It should drip and burn without making you step back.

This is one of those things that you get from experience, not from talk around the stove over coffee.  I have had folks pick it up and run with it without a problem.  Then you got those that pick it up and cause you to lose your religion.

But hey, be careful out there.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline Riles

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2007, 07:03:49 pm »
My fire instructor taught 3:1diesel to gas. Rule number one was you had to mix your own. He picked up one that had been mixed for him and it was 3:1 gas to diesel. Yup, the results can be exciting.
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Offline BW_Williams

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2007, 08:01:18 pm »
Nice pics, 2nd the 3:1 diesel to gas for fire season, might want to go with 3:2 for wet season burning.  Mix your own and be sure to label the can, it will screw up a pump (don't ask how I know this) :D.  I rigged up a small propane tank to a pack frame and use a weed burner to get piles going earlier in the spring.  Wish I had kept track of the acres I've burnt, but during control operations they don't really count for anything, they either work or not.  Good Luck, BWW 
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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2007, 11:14:12 pm »
3:2 way to hot for me.  Don't make the mistake I did once, and mix fuel oil like diesel.  That got exciting real quick, too. smiley_fireman_hat
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Offline sgtmaconga

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2007, 12:40:47 am »
#1 lumber in any market. i got all the grading done and started raising center beams. loft floor should begain next week if the weather is right.
Measure twice cut once

Offline tonich

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Re: Controlled Burn - Pic Intensive Post!!
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2007, 05:50:11 am »
Hi WDH,

You seem to be doing a good job. Some questions, of course:  ;D
-   What is the composition of that plantation?
-   Were there some hardwood species, at least on stand height prior burning?
-   Did you manage to watch the fire by yourself only (excluding the dog)? Did anyone else help you?

Thanks!
I’м looking forward the upcoming reportages from the other plantations.  8)