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  #1  
Old 05-09-2019, 7:03 AM
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Default Fire season is here - NOW is the time to do the last of the prep

Just wanted to make sure everyone is forward thinking and getting the lawn litter cleaned up, trim back the over hangs, clean out under the decks and all of the stuff we always say "next year I'm going to be on it". Well,next year is here.
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Old 05-09-2019, 8:48 AM
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Exactly.
Time to "harden" structures, and create a plan to shelter in place with the means and ability to stay and defend if you can.
Remember, when the embers are flying, it is up to YOU to have ensured your property is protected; no publicly funded agency has the means to protect everyone or everything. Relying on such is a total gamble at best.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:35 AM
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And put some gear, clothes, money, and necessities in your vehicle, in case it happens while you're away from home.
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Old 05-11-2019, 8:23 AM
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Good reminder especially for us rural folks. I just completed installing a fire hydrant near my house. I dug a 200' trench from my water tanks up the hill to a spot near the house and put in a 3" pipe. The hydrant has a standard 2.5" fitting for use by me or the fire department. It's connected to 6,000 gallons of stored water. I have a gas powered water pump, nozzles, adapters etc. and several hundred feet of 1.5 inch fire hose to reach all around my house.

Each weak, I spend a couple hours thinning trees and cutting brush in the 100 foot zone around the house to reduce fuel load and chance of fire spread. Once I'm satisfied with the 100' zone, I'll push out a little further for good measure. There are lots of videos on YouTube explaining the concept of "Fire Wise" preparation of the landscape around your home to improve your chances of surviving a wildfire.

I found a good deal on some Nomex clothing for my own personal protection should I need to defend my home during a fire. I don't expect to get any help during a wildfire and defending my home may be the safest course of action to take as it is quite possible that my escape routes could be cut off if a fire starts nearby.

Getting cut off from escape is the mane reason I am making every effort to make my home a survivable safe refuge area. I have a metal roof, concrete "Hardie Plank" siding and fine screened roof vents to keep embers out of the attic. My next big project is to build a fire resistive structure to enclose my water tanks but that will have to come after my brush clearing and thinning operation is completed. Right now, fire damage to my water tanks are my biggest unsolved vulnerability.
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Old 05-11-2019, 9:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinfin View Post
Good reminder especially for us rural folks. I just completed installing a fire hydrant near my house. I dug a 200' trench from my water tanks up the hill to a spot near the house and put in a 3" pipe. The hydrant has a standard 2.5" fitting for use by me or the fire department. It's connected to 6,000 gallons of stored water. I have a gas powered water pump, nozzles, adapters etc. and several hundred feet of 1.5 inch fire hose to reach all around my house.

Each weak, I spend a couple hours thinning trees and cutting brush in the 100 foot zone around the house to reduce fuel load and chance of fire spread. Once I'm satisfied with the 100' zone, I'll push out a little further for good measure. There are lots of videos on YouTube explaining the concept of "Fire Wise" preparation of the landscape around your home to improve your chances of surviving a wildfire.

I found a good deal on some Nomex clothing for my own personal protection should I need to defend my home during a fire. I don't expect to get any help during a wildfire and defending my home may be the safest course of action to take as it is quite possible that my escape routes could be cut off if a fire starts nearby.

Getting cut off from escape is the mane reason I am making every effort to make my home a survivable safe refuge area. I have a metal roof, concrete "Hardie Plank" siding and fine screened roof vents to keep embers out of the attic. My next big project is to build a fire resistive structure to enclose my water tanks but that will have to come after my brush clearing and thinning operation is completed. Right now, fire damage to my water tanks are my biggest unsolved vulnerability.

You might to consider adding sprinklers to your water tanks.I
You can also buy Phoschek home kits.
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Old 05-11-2019, 9:28 AM
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Defensible space.
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Old 05-11-2019, 9:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinfin View Post
Good reminder especially for us rural folks. I just completed installing a fire hydrant near my house. I dug a 200' trench from my water tanks up the hill to a spot near the house and put in a 3" pipe. The hydrant has a standard 2.5" fitting for use by me or the fire department. It's connected to 6,000 gallons of stored water. I have a gas powered water pump, nozzles, adapters etc. and several hundred feet of 1.5 inch fire hose to reach all around my house.

Each weak, I spend a couple hours thinning trees and cutting brush in the 100 foot zone around the house to reduce fuel load and chance of fire spread. Once I'm satisfied with the 100' zone, I'll push out a little further for good measure. There are lots of videos on YouTube explaining the concept of "Fire Wise" preparation of the landscape around your home to improve your chances of surviving a wildfire.

I found a good deal on some Nomex clothing for my own personal protection should I need to defend my home during a fire. I don't expect to get any help during a wildfire and defending my home may be the safest course of action to take as it is quite possible that my escape routes could be cut off if a fire starts nearby.

Getting cut off from escape is the mane reason I am making every effort to make my home a survivable safe refuge area. I have a metal roof, concrete "Hardie Plank" siding and fine screened roof vents to keep embers out of the attic. My next big project is to build a fire resistive structure to enclose my water tanks but that will have to come after my brush clearing and thinning operation is completed. Right now, fire damage to my water tanks are my biggest unsolved vulnerability.
Good job on prepping your house. There are too many people who think it will never happen to them so they don't take any time to prep their house, then wonder why it burned down. If you do have to leave your place in the event of a fire make sure to close all of your doors (including all interior doors). There were a lot of people that lost their homes during the Woolsey Fire because they left in a panic and left their garage doors and exterior doors open. Another issue with the Woolsey Fire that I herd about from a couple guys doing evacuations was that they probably could have saved a lot of homes if people had garden hoses around their houses. One of the Chiefs I work with was helping with evacuations and saved a couple homes by filling a 5 gal bucket and using that to put out small spots near people's homes because nobody had a dang garden hose. You may already know this, but the most common supply line on structural and wild land engines is 2.5" hose with national standard threads. Just food for thought on your water system.
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Old 05-11-2019, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motox917 View Post
the most common supply line on structural and wild land engines is 2.5" hose with national standard threads. Just food for thought on your water system.
Yes, having the proper hose thread standard to the fire service is a must have item. I also keep a box of adaptors for the hydrant so that I can hook up anything from a garden hose to the 2" suction line for my fire pump. Every side of the house has a water spigot with garden hose attached so any spot fires can be sprayed down quickly.

But of course, the most important thing is to keep landscaping in the 100'+ zone around the house lean and green. I have no wood piles or combustible patio furniture near the house to act as a conduit for fire spread to the house.
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Old 05-12-2019, 3:45 PM
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I spent my day weed whacking along the main state road adjacent to my property. Also cut down all weeds along the secondary road and my driveways to make things fire safe.

I'm living on property that burnt down five years ago in a wildfire. Make sure you have defensible space around your home. It's more important than you think...
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Old 05-12-2019, 8:26 PM
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Like Twinfin mentioned - for any others that do this, check what threads are on your fittings. Unfortunately a lot of folks, and even professional plumbers hired specifically to do this kind of thing, use NPT, National pipe thread, and no fire agency I know uses that. Most use NHT, national hose thread and some use specific department threads This was a big problem at the Oakland Hills Fire years ago when fire couldn't tap into homeowners tanks and many couldn't connect to each other due to mismatched threads.

If your do this, I would provide one outlet that is 1.5" with a male NHT and on larger tanks an additional 2.5" with a male NHT. I would be sure to check with your local agency and confirm what they use. Consider posting a small sing stating size and thread.

Last edited by ratled; 05-12-2019 at 8:54 PM..
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Old 05-12-2019, 9:55 PM
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Good discussion going on. Hope more people chime in.

My post is more focused on getting out.
My BIL is a firefighter, and his top tip was to make sure your attic vents are closed when embers fly. A lot of times it's overlooked and many homes catch on fire that way.
I evacuated in 2017 and realized how unprepared I was. Luckily I had sufficient time to pack my guns, but it took over an hour to get everything cased and loaded into my SUV.
My handguns were put into soft cases and all grouped in those reusable grocery bags. Rifles had to be put into cases if possible, otherwise they were tossed into the bag or on the floorboards.
Packed important documents, BOB (honestly only a change of clothes was definitely not enough), laptop and other necessities.





As I was stuck in traffic getting out I realized I made a critical error. No gas. I had 25 miles est. until I was empty.



I did end up buying a 3M respirator for next time with the P100 cartridges. Don't want to inhale that smoke again. I didn't smell anything except smoke for the whole following week.
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Old 05-13-2019, 7:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratled View Post
Like Twinfin mentioned - for any others that do this, check what threads are on your fittings. Unfortunately a lot of folks, and even professional plumbers hired specifically to do this kind of thing, use NPT, National pipe thread, and no fire agency I know uses that. Most use NHT, national hose thread and some use specific department threads This was a big problem at the Oakland Hills Fire years ago when fire couldn't tap into homeowners tanks and many couldn't connect to each other due to mismatched threads.

If your do this, I would provide one outlet that is 1.5" with a male NHT and on larger tanks an additional 2.5" with a male NHT. I would be sure to check with your local agency and confirm what they use. Consider posting a small sing stating size and thread.
Good info. I came across it and already purchased the conversion nipples for
1-1/2 line. I am also running sprinklers on the house and surrounding the house. I figure everything being soaked couldn’t hurt. My water is off a spring so putting in another 20k for 50k in storage is going to allow me to turn everything on and walk away. Gravity feed pressure at the house is 45 psi. I also have a well with a 45 kw generator and multiple large ponds. My goal is to be able to turn on the system and run or be able to fight the fire and survive. Since escaping might be impossible. My protective space is 300 feet and I have 3 d6 dozers, 74,000 pound excavator, skid loader and grader. Fire scares the hell out of me so I prep as much as I can. In my area it is easy to be trapped.

If anyone has anymore ideas it would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Duck Killer; 05-13-2019 at 7:47 PM..
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Old 05-14-2019, 7:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
Good discussion going on. Hope more people chime in.

My post is more focused on getting out.
My BIL is a firefighter, and his top tip was to make sure your attic vents are closed when embers fly. A lot of times it's overlooked and many homes catch on fire that way.
I evacuated in 2017 and realized how unprepared I was. Luckily I had sufficient time to pack my guns, but it took over an hour to get everything cased and loaded into my SUV.
My handguns were put into soft cases and all grouped in those reusable grocery bags. Rifles had to be put into cases if possible, otherwise they were tossed into the bag or on the floorboards.
Packed important documents, BOB (honestly only a change of clothes was definitely not enough), laptop and other necessities.





As I was stuck in traffic getting out I realized I made a critical error. No gas. I had 25 miles est. until I was empty.



I did end up buying a 3M respirator for next time with the P100 cartridges. Don't want to inhale that smoke again. I didn't smell anything except smoke for the whole following week.
Good post. There is nothing like the experience of others to guide us. Running out of gas seems to be an issue that crops up frequently across a range of emergencies. It's another reason to keep at least a half tank but some times it just happens that you're low on fuel and disasters don't let you pick when they happen.

I've been in the habit of keeping a number of five gallon cans of fuel at home and put a piece of tape on them with the date filled so I can reliably rotate them at reasonable intervals. My advice if you do this is to get quality gas cans. I have come to love the Wavian brand https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C43O95W...ing=UTF8&psc=1 of NATO style fuel can. Don't buy the cheep Chinees knock off. These cans don't off gas or leak like the plastic cans I have previously used.

Glad you made it out with your collection.
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Old 05-14-2019, 7:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Killer View Post
Good info. I came across it and already purchased the conversion nipples for
1-1/2 line. I am also running sprinklers on the house and surrounding the house. I figure everything being soaked couldn’t hurt. My water is off a spring so putting in another 20k for 50k in storage is going to allow me to turn everything on and walk away. Gravity feed pressure at the house is 45 psi. I also have a well with a 45 kw generator and multiple large ponds. My goal is to be able to turn on the system and run or be able to fight the fire and survive. Since escaping might be impossible. My protective space is 300 feet and I have 3 d6 dozers, 74,000 pound excavator, skid loader and grader. Fire scares the hell out of me so I prep as much as I can. In my area it is easy to be trapped.

If anyone has anymore ideas it would be greatly appreciated.
Have you asked your local fire department come out to assess your property for wildland fire vulnerabilities? There is nothing like getting some advice from those who actually fight the fires. They may be able point out some things you may not have thought of.
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Old 05-21-2019, 6:50 PM
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Originally Posted by twinfin View Post
Have you asked your local fire department come out to assess your property for wildland fire vulnerabilities? There is nothing like getting some advice from those who actually fight the fires. They may be able point out some things you may not have thought of.
Yes. We have been working with them to create a designated safe zone for fire personnel. I figure if they have a base at my ranch it won’t burn down. Plus I have plenty of water for them to use. Probably 50 million gallons plus in ponds.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:30 PM
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Yes. We have been working with them to create a designated safe zone for fire personnel. I figure if they have a base at my ranch it won’t burn down. Plus I have plenty of water for them to use. Probably 50 million gallons plus in ponds.
That's outstanding! A safe zone designation is sort of a big deal in a fire storm. If your place is the go-to place of refuge for the firefighting crews, then you probably have all the elements in place that make your home defensible against a significant fire event.

I'm not so lucky. The worse it gets, the less likely anyone will want to come up to my rural ridge top to protect my home.
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Old 05-22-2019, 8:19 AM
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It's always fire season now. Also, make sure you guys have an address or decent location before calling 9-1-1. It helps me get rubber on the road quicker.

Also, realize that when you call when the world is burning down and you want 1 fire engine to respond to your house so that it can be saved, know that it may not be possible due to thin resources, especially at the onset when we are ordering outside agencies due to exceeding our resource capabilities. I had to tell quite a few people during the Woolsey Fire that I literally had no one to send them. That wears on you after a while and I hated it. The mental toll on those calls draining.
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Old 05-22-2019, 8:20 PM
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Yes. We have been working with them to create a designated safe zone for fire personnel. I figure if they have a base at my ranch it won’t burn down. Plus I have plenty of water for them to use. Probably 50 million gallons plus in ponds.
Put a LARGE water tank on the property in a clear flat area and make sure the helicopter tender drivers in the region knows where it is
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Old 05-23-2019, 7:37 AM
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One poster noted stocking respirators.

If you can’t breath, you can’t fight or run.
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Old 05-30-2019, 1:58 PM
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Quote:
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Put a LARGE water tank on the property in a clear flat area and make sure the helicopter tender drivers in the region knows where it is
We already have helo pads cut on the property.
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Old 06-05-2019, 1:47 AM
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if there is a bad fire where you must get out, most likely the power is off so no water psi to your home anyhow.that happened here a couple years back, the water tank had fire around it so the towns water was "cut off" due to no electric power for the pumps. sure water flows down hill, but not at the rate of flow needed.
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Old 06-05-2019, 2:52 PM
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if there is a bad fire where you must get out, most likely the power is off so no water psi to your home anyhow.that happened here a couple years back, the water tank had fire around it so the towns water was "cut off" due to no electric power for the pumps. sure water flows down hill, but not at the rate of flow needed.
And that is why you need a setup like this
http://www.keeneeng.com/mm5/merchant...gory_Code=Fire

Either something like this off the shelf or build your own
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Old 06-05-2019, 9:36 PM
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And that is why you need a setup like this
http://www.keeneeng.com/mm5/merchant...gory_Code=Fire

Either something like this off the shelf or build your own
That product is a good representation of what you need to protect your home but I prefer to assemble my own and shop around for best price. My good friend nearly lost his home during the Thomas fire. He only had garden hose and a small electric pump to pump from his hot tub at times. Power was out and city water slowed to a trickle as homes around his burned to the ground. He is now a believer in having some serious capacity to throw some water around and is much better prepared now.

Today my own fire preparations improved with arrival via FedEx of a few reducers and fittings that allow maximum flexibility in how I hook up my fire pump to my private water supply. I now have a good variety of standard fire department threaded fittings (National Hose Thread) from 1.5 inch to 2.5 inch and the ability to supply two separate 1.5 inch hose lines from my fire pump. My thought being that I would put a hose line on each side of my house and be able to respond to threats on either side by moving from one hose to the other rather than trying to drag a heavy 1.5 inch fire hose to the other side of the house.

I also did a bit of house keeping by clearing out a corner of the garage for this equipment. Now, everything is one place. All my nozzles, reducers, gated wye and related fittings are in one stout plastic crate. The gas powered pump and fire hose are also neatly stored but easy to get to. Last but not least, a set of long sleeve Nomex shirt and pants I found on a military surplus website along with eye protection and leather gloves are laying on top of the hose. The Nomex gear is big enough to put on over whatever clothes I am already wearing at the time.

I know that in the event of a wildland fire there will be enough pandemonium at hand. No need to add additional stress by having to run around, trying to find everything.
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