Burn Baby, Burn!

We have found an added bonus of having a large piece of property. Bonfires!

Last spring, during our long stint of yard work weekends, we managed to accumulate about five separate burn piles. These piles consisted mostly of the alders that we dug out and other random branches and brush that had been left by the previous owner or blown down in the frequent wind storms. Being law-abiding citizens, I inquired at the fire department about the fire regulations for rural properties. I was instantly handed a burn permit which allows burning any time between October and May. And so the fun began.

We started cautiously with a small fire of branches that were laying around an area that FM insisted needed to be cut and tended. Once we got the fire going, we began working hard at collecting all the nearby debris. In no time at all, we had a tidied up a large area and had earned our fire-roasted weiners.

Small, controlled and quaint

Small, controlled and quaint

The second burn was a huge undertaking. The previous owner had used his excavator to make a very high pile of branches, logs and garbage (?) which we decided was too large for us to handle and too close to some trees.  So we made a small fire ring at a safe distance and, all day long, we hauled stuff from his large pile to our smaller fire pit, separating out the nasty non-combustibles as we went. This bonfire was an all-day affair, leaving us both exhausted and sweaty by the time the sun went down. (Do I need to mention that we each lost all our arm-hair?) But this fire made the biggest improvement to our surroundings and, with each successive burn, we became more comfortable with managing the Queendom in this manner.

This photo lacks perspective because that pile of branches is more than 5 feet tall.

This photo lacks perspective but that pile of branches is more than 5 feet tall.

But the bonfire to end all bonfires was made by our landscaping crew (a series of blog posts not-yet-written). After clearing out a section of our pond that had tree stumps, branches and whole tree trunks in it, the crew made a bonfire that towered above us. This fire required a special permit, an excavator at hand and a water pump which could use pond water to extinguish it, if necessary. This fire burned for three days.

I can feel my eyebrows singeing from here.

I can feel my eyebrows singeing from here

When a fire is this big, it can burn pretty well anything

It may not be the best thing for the environment and I’m sure I’ll get air quality comments from somebody, but it is the way we roll out here in the boonies.  Come on by and roast a weinie with us next time!

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