Monday, October 18, 2010

Burning Wood

We did our first burn pile with construction waste, and for whatever reason, the entire process gave me a lot of anxiety. Something about fire that makes me nervous, especially when it is in proximity to the barn and the woods. We have a fairly decent sized pile of wood, though nothing compared to some of the burn piles I've seen. Plus, rather than burn the entire thing all at once, we opted to start a moderate fire and feed it.

We even went through the proper channels, which I've learned is not always the norm. In other words, I contacted the fire marshal and waited for approval. This can be a tricky process because the marshal has a regular day job and is a busy man, so he can't always attend to everyone's individual needs. I completely understand.

I managed to contact him, and the day was good for the fire because it had rained for two days before and it was still damp outside. Also, the previous day was really windy, and the wind had finally died down. I was thinking it would be nice to burn at dusk, but we were planning on ice skating in the afternoon, so we changed to the morning. We were all kind of excited.

The original pile was close the barn, so we decided to burn farther away, which made it more difficult because we couldn't simply light the whole and thing and watch. However, I learned this increased the entertainment value, because now the kids (and adults) could throw pieces in at our leisure, thus prolonging the fun.

We started by loading the wood into a pyramid and using paper and shingles to get it going. It really took off, and man did generate a lot of heat. It was a cold morning, but at some point we were down to our t-shirts. The kids had a blast, tossing pieces in, holding the hose and putting out little grass fires.

Who needs TV?

We could have done it all day, except that we had places to be, so at some point, when we'd made a good dent in the pile, we had to put it out. The kids loved that, as well, because they got feel like firemen, or rather, fire-people.

Plus, I feel like I overcame yet another paralyzing source of anxiety. We also found out that to have a small fire pit doesn't require a burn permit, just a lot of common sense. We still have some small scraps of wood, and will burn them in small fires throughout the fall. We may even toast some marshmallows along the way.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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