Saturday, April 25, 2015

Burning Brush

I was burning brush last night and today.  I am bushed.

The weather was prime for burning.  The breeze was blowing the smoke away from the overgrown field east of me.  There is no chance of an ember landing over there and starting a grass fire.

The humidity was high.  And even if an ember bucked its way upwind, there are enough spears of green grass to make it a s-l-o-w fire.  As it was, the wind took the smoke over at least a hundred yards of closely cropped pasture.  The grass is so green it pulsates.  So green it hurts the eyes.

The wind was also blowing it away from the house.  Hence I had Mrs ERJ's go-ahead for burning.

Technically, I did not have a brush fire.  I had a campfire.

The township requires a permit to have a brush fire but not campfires.

I kept the footprint small.  I have a "burn pit".  It is about 25 feet by 25 feet and is about 4 feet deep.  My campfire was about 4' by 6' and was parked in the south east corner of the pit.

Fire Science

I have it on good authority that brush fires are a good venue for testing the flammability of various, man-made objects.  ERJ cannot condone this testing as it may create air quality issues.  Never-the-less, some of the data is worth sharing.

According to my source(s), the very cheapest furniture explodes into flames as if soaked in kerosene.  The worst offenders are the pieces covered with thin, porous polyolefin fabrics and are padded with very light, open cell, polyethylene foams. 

Most furniture consists of the fabric, a layer of fibrous matting and then closed cell foam resting atop springs or some other foundation.  The matting is required to wick away water vapor since the closed cell foam is impervious to it.  The very cheapest furniture uses open cell foam (which has less material in it so it costs less) and does away with the matting.  These cheap pieces are are engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds.

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