Would this be enough protection against wiledfires?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by Deltic, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Deltic

    Deltic

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    Would an above ground pool and a pump leading 4 or more sprinklers be enough to save a house from a fire? The house would be near the top of a small hill, the grass and small trees can get very dry in the summer. The house would have a steel roof and fire resistant siding. There is a volunteer FD a few miles away but in a wide spread fire I think I am on my own. Access to evacuation routes could be a problem. I was thinking of making a manifold to connect a small pump to 4 or more garden hoses and sprinklers to get everything wet within 40 or 50 feet of the house.

    I'm pretty sure HF had a pump with a 1.5 inch outlet and that is what I was thinking of. I don't see it online. How many GPM do you think I would need?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/2-in-212cc-gasoline-engine-semi-trash-water-pump-158-gpm-63405.html
    https://www.harborfreight.com/1-in-79cc-Gasoline-Engine-Clear-Water-Pump-35-GPM-63404.html
    Bigger pools would be better!
    https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=swimming pools&typeahead=swi
     
  2. Rzrbak

    Rzrbak

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    it would be very difficult to speculate about your perceived problem. my suggestion would be to pay your volunteer fd a visit and talk your problem over with them. they will guide you in the right direction.


    Bobby
     
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  3. Keith Pierson

    Keith Pierson Exploring Alternate Routes

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    Best protection against wild fires is distance. Groom as far from the house as possible and keep things short. They are very manageable that way.
    Wildfires are normally the product of feral grounds that are allowed to accumulate debris from past years. They are a natural cycle, but can be minimized.
    Firefighting requires a lot of volume. Keep things watered and green as far out as you can. Remember, these get VERY hot and VERY suffocating when they are big. 50 feet isn't enough buffer in many cases. Best case is leave.
    Good Luck.
     
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  4. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Besides keeping brush away from house, keeping everything around the house well watered and healthy will help.

    A pool will help. Certainly let the local FD know you that it is available to them - which, by the way, and a great thing for you to provide. Can they access it with a fire engine? Or at least a minimal amount of suction hose? Would they be able to use it if there is a fire nearby, not necessarily a wildfire?

    A fire engine can pump a lot of water in short amount of time - anywhere from 750 gallons per minute to 2,000+ gallons per minute. A nearby pool is a resource the FD will appreciate knowing about.
     
  5. Deltic

    Deltic

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    I'm only allowed to water a lawn or garden one half acre in size.
     
  6. Deltic

    Deltic

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    The property is on a small lake so I don't think they would bother. The house will be on a hill about 70 feet above the lake so I wanted to store some water on the high ground.
     
  7. ranger1968

    ranger1968

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    This is solid advice.....

    A good perimeter with very little fuel for the fire coupled with the ability to make your area a "wet zone" so that no embers can catch anything are a combination that can and will save your property; additionally, cutting a good break at the edge of your perimeter at the start of fire season can help as well.
     
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  8. Stendec

    Stendec

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  9. Deltic

    Deltic

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    That was an interesting site!
     
  10. Lil

    Lil

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    Defending a structure against a rager requires more than you may think in terms of equipment (generator, pumps, hand tools, hoses, chainsaw, etc.), protective gear (boots, clothing, respirator, shielded helmet, gloves, etc.) and a steel mindset. Very high (fire generated) winds blowing embers in your face, killer super-heated air, heavy gear, low vis and tricky footing makes for challenging conditions and may test or exceed one's limits. Should be in pretty good physical shape.

    In addition to creating a firebreak (removing most trees, shrubbery) a firewall on the perimeter will minimize blowing embers making contact with the structure. They keep some embers out and, like snow collecting behind a snowfence, will keep embers in the lee. You have an added risk being on a hilltop; uphill fires are esp dangerous. And should you be overrun? A pool sounds safe but doesn't do anything for super-heated air that can scorch lungs and kill - quite common. A deep hole in the ground with a secure door (that won't get blown away by fierce winds) and your own O supply will see you through. Get professional advice and equipment. Wildland fires can be wicked in many ways and to stand in their path...good luck.
     
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  11. Deltic

    Deltic

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    The pool is not the refuge it's the source of water. I intend to keep the brush down near the house and build to a fire resistant standard. I am trying to take all reasonable precautions but I do want to build near the top of my little hill and enjoy the view. I'm hoping a little prior planning can prevent p!$$ poor performance. All of the comments are making me think I was right.
    At my age I don't see myself as a one man firefighting crew. I need to be prepared to save the house with almost no warning.
     
  12. Stendec

    Stendec

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    I'm not exactly sure of your location and topography, but you have to be a little cautious in permanently clearing "firebreaks" around your house and property. One very popular non-expert recommended permanently clearing down to mineral soil for a distance of either a hundred feet, or possibly yards, around structures. Unfortunately, this can lead to mudslides during rains. You have to balance your risks.

    You might want to consider taking the short Wilderness Firefighting course. It'll open your eyes to fire behavior.

    Check out:
    https://www.nifc.gov/nicc/
    https://www.nifc.gov/cache/links2.html
     
  13. SmokeRoss

    SmokeRoss GTDS Member #49

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    WHAT????? Who makes those rules?
     
  14. SmokeRoss

    SmokeRoss GTDS Member #49

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    2 years ago a wild fire broke out in a local community. Several homes were lost. One of the first things that happened, was the local utility company de-energized all the electric power. The only people that were capable of saving their homes were those with generators, or the folks close to the river that had gas powered pumps. Don't count on having electricity available from your utility company. I added a plug to the wires that supply power to my water well so I can still run my well pump if the power is off.
     
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  15. Deltic

    Deltic

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    Washington state. I can see it making some sense. If we over use the aquifer and run out of water we have a problem.