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Land clearing, to burn or not to burn

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by joshbowling45, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

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    Vitamin T... Now that's funny!!!!! :)


    We got a burn coming up this next week... the land owner says they gave him a permit to burn clear through the 4th... we'll see what happens cause it's pretty dry around here. ;) I'll get some pics :)
     
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  2. xr4ticlone

    xr4ticlone Well-Known Member

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    My property is outside the city limits...and believe it or not, San Antonio has become complete jack asses about trees on commercial lots. They mark them & will fine or hold up development if you take down even the shittiest looking scrub brush. I plan on being a commercial property, and in the county I can basically designate myself as such as long as no one says anything and I have appropriate land size. So when the city inevitably annexes me...I'm ready. :)

    Given that I'm not about to ever have a conversation about a $5000 fine to remove a shitty tree...I just clear cut the entire 5 acres. I believe if you love trees that much...you should just buy the place. If you don't want to do that...then STFU.

    What I got 'in trouble for' was burning within an hour of dusk...which the county frowns upon. I had the entire place around the fire as dirt. It was cold and wet, I spent $40 on diesel getting it going...and even then it might have taken a couple vitamin T's...I don't really recall. :)

    The little brush jumper truck drove by & then backed up with his lights on first. I just figured they were out doing a tour to get out of the station and were going to check in...not big deal. By the time I pulled the excavator away from the pile & got out...there was the pumper truck. :rolleyes:

    As I walked over to the Cpt I said "Oh thank God you're here! As you can see...we've got an out of control inferno on our hands" :) He smiled back and said 'Yea, I can see that'. "I'm guessing this wasn't what you were expecting from the call to came out here?" ' No sir...no it wasn't' :)

    That's when he told me in the county you've got to stop burning an hour before dusk...and we were there. I told him how much issue I had with getting is started...and then threw in "And if I can't burn after dark...how am I going to get rid of all these tires?" :)

    I burned whenever I wanted after that. I think they realized I knew what I was doing and more than responsible & capable enough to not have problems. They said they were going to come out later that day and put out my fire...or make sure I had it put out...they never came back.
     
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  3. walkerv

    walkerv Senior Member

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    In michigan during winter snow on ground no burn permits or call ins needed, but when oil wells are on the 280 acres i used to take care of when i lived there i started calling in to the local volunteer fire department to give them a heads up , becuase aparently all the smoke and steam on a calm nite going straight up in the air and then being lit up from the flames looks like an oil well fire from the road . I told them if i call in and give specific which gate to go into to 911 there is a problem lol .
     
  4. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    It's kind of funny in Washington State, King County. If you live east of Highway 18 you can burn small amounts of brush and debris with a permit from the local fire department until May. After that all burning is prohibited I think until November. If you live west of Highway 18 no burning is allowed at all. The state generally has prohibited all burning for clearing and that is why there are so many companies with mobile grinders. I don't complain about it because I can use a burn barrel to reduce my waste stream into landfills most of the time while the bulk of the population of the county is required to pay for garbage service to pick up even storm debris. There are so many greenies around here that the fire department gets run ragged every time a whiff of smoke is detected. Even though there is a permit on file at the station for a site, if there is a call in, the fire department has to mobilize an engine to check it out.
     
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  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    We can burn in one county on top of the ground from Oct. to May. Next county over we can burn from Oct. to May but there has to be a permit, air curtain, pit and inspection. The surrounding counties you can burn all year.

    Back in the day it was common when a contractor cleared a lot before the loader was off the lowboy there were a few used tires dropped off. A bale of straw or newspapers stuffed in the middle soaked in the diesel - light it up and when the tire gets going good, roll the greed brush over on it. This was usually done with either a 941, 951 or 955 track loader, there were no excavators to speak of back then.

    Now we have burn restrictions, permits and minimum 500' distance from any structure BS to deal with but the local brush dump is doing well...;)

    Last pit burner job I did -

    No this is not textbook air curtain operation but we were trying to meet the May 1 burn ban..

    IMG_0490.JPG

    This is where our new yard is now. We cleared the brush during the summer and it was nice and dry. Used the pit method without an air curtain which works well.
    IMG_2432.JPG
    Poking the fire up before quitting time. I like to keep a substantial log to poke the fire with in order to keep the bucket out of the heat as much as possible.

    IMG_2437.JPG
     
  6. xr4ticlone

    xr4ticlone Well-Known Member

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    Good idea on the log!

    Sadly the TB180 Takeuchi I had didn't have a thumb at the time...of course I ended up having to put one on for the buyer. : ( But at the time I had a couple people wanting it...and half didn't want a thumb and I couldn't find a used one to steal. Would have made everything 100 times easier.

    Burning is the best way to clear...but unfortunately too many idiots F it up for everyone else.

    When the FD came out I had 120+ feet of black dirt all around the pile or wet grass. Had a track loader & the TB180, but thanks to my new neighbors F'n crackhead kid, no electric...or water. : ( (He stole every bit of copper from my place and every other one within 5 miles he could get. But his dad & I have an understanding...I've told all the neighbors if it's not me or my Tundra...call the cops or shoot them dead. And in Texas both are acceptable. And I told him if I catch anyone out there my call to the cops will be to bring out the coroner. I will not abide a thief).

    Anyway, I told them I didn't have water (I was honest...you're supposed to have water supply) but I could put out more fire with machines than any garden hose.

    He agreed...but then said..."Well the law says....".
    "I just remembered! I've got water in the truck...two bottles!"
    "I guess that counts" ;)
    "Law and order every time for me Sir!" :)

    That was the last time they were out. But I get it...most people are morons and ruin it for everyone. :(
     
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  7. Oldcatpusher

    Oldcatpusher Well-Known Member

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    In Arkansas all you have to do is call in a controlled burn. I burn all the time on jobsites and never have anyone show up. Lots of times I don't even call it in. One job I set around 60 acres of almost clear cut forest on fire on top of a rocky ridge. Watched the forestry Commission bring out their 450j dozer and the operator bounce to death trying to cut a fireline around it while I had an operator pushing with a 6 less than an 250 yards away. There was no need to even cut a line. We had cleared a 60 foot wide utilities right of way on one side and built a 2 lane wide road on the other side which had it completely surrounded .They claimed the fire was out of control but never issued a fine. I think they got worked up over nothing. I've never had a fire get out of hand but I don't burn when it's late summer and everything is kindling unless we get rain.
     
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  8. aighead

    aighead Well-Known Member

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    You guys are really doing it! My 6 acres had about 2 acres really grown over with honeysuckle and in the 3 years we've been there we've cleared the honeysuckle and I've knocked down a good 20-30 dead (lots of ash death) trees and I thought I had some piles. I'm just outside Dayton city limits and no one, other than my neighbor getting grumpy over floating ash on his cars, no one has said a word about some pretty decent burns. I did learn a lesson about grass fires in my 2 acre hay field in the back. The lesson was don't start a fire next to dry grass. I got lucky (and some melted shoes) and we were able to keep it under control but it could have gotten ugly. Thanks for all the tips above to help me in the future. Vitamin T is the best! I've also been real happy with a small pump sprayer full of diesel.
     
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  9. John Deere Boy

    John Deere Boy Member

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    If i dig a burn pit, we leave the root balls on. We always burn green too.
     
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  10. dhutch

    dhutch Well-Known Member

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    I do the same as jjhdozing. I’ll start a pile while I’m running the dozer or excavator, that way I can watch it, but normally don’t charge anymore since I’m there anyway running the equipment. I will add the fuel used for the brush burning to the bill.

    I started out with a 955h cat, then a 175c dresser loader. You could quickly dig a long trench, not too deep, push the trash in it, especially the fence. Once it burns, any fence or nails can be covered to keep from causing issues with tires, bush hogs, and animal hooves.

    I noticed mention of tires, but no one mentioned used motor oil. It works good as well. Throw a little diesel on it to get it going, it’ll fire up most green stuff.

    Alabama has a call in permit system, same for Tennessee. But they’re both easy to get. Be smart, have a large clear area around the pile and shouldn’t have any problems.
     
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  11. aighead

    aighead Well-Known Member

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    My wife wanted to start a fire Monday after it'd been raining a bit and she wasn't sure how it'd go. I busted out about a half gallon of diesel and added about a half gallon of used oil dumped them both in a garden sprayer, hosed down the pile and it was up and gone within about an hour. Works great!
     
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  12. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

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    Yep, done that too :) and sometimes I even mix in whatever other 'oils' I have laying around... some really thick some thin... it's all good ;)
     
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  13. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    In the old days, nothing was better than a worn out tire and a mix of gas and diesel. The tire was put into the face of a pile built with a crane and clam shell bucket. The mix was installed and depending on how "brave" you were, you used a stick match and a quick throw. Other times when you knew there was too much gas in the tire, a flare was used from a bit farther away. The tire was covered up with a couple of bucket loads of brush. The tire would smoke for about ten minutes until the brush caught on and the black smoke would disappear. You would get a mixture of white smoke and heat. I watched my dad have five or six piles burning at once with flames sixty feet in the air. A lot cheaper than all the diesel to run a hog.
     
  14. matnicoe

    matnicoe Member

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    It is safer not to burn but will take longer. The fire could also burn neighboring structures or forest so contractors should be really careful. Moreover, the smoke could negatively impact the environment as we work for great projects, let's not forget to ensure that we cannot do further or more devastating damage to the environment.
     
  15. Oldcatpusher

    Oldcatpusher Well-Known Member

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    I love burning cedar.
     
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  16. Oldcatpusher

    Oldcatpusher Well-Known Member

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  17. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

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    Burn baby burn!!!!!!


    We have a few coming up :) Can't wait to toast some trees!
     
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  18. DIYDAVE

    DIYDAVE Senior Member

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    Do volcanoes or lightning need a permit?;)
     
  19. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    My SPAM alert is pegging the charts on that one.:cool:
     
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  20. aighead

    aighead Well-Known Member

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    Way to go, Buzzkill!
     
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