1. Ribcracker
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    Ribcracker Member

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    Fighting Fire

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ribcracker, Jan 26, 2014.

    I'm really not one for heroics.
    I've never beat up the bad guy or saved the girl but I did once save Oakland county from... well, me.

    I was on a solo day trip in the country to do some nature photography in early spring. It was a beautiful day but quite windy. I found a nice spot on top of a hill to enjoy my sandwich and a beer. I love campfires so I gathered several dead tree limbs and made a small fire. Shortly thereafter, a lick of wind kicked at the fire and sent some sparks into the tinder-dry grasses. I jumped to my feet to step on it but before I could, fire was racing down the hill. My stomping on the fire had little effect so I yanked off my beloved denim jacket and started swatting. I was able to gain some control on the sides but the wind kept pushing the fire down the hill so I knew I'd have to meet it head on rather than attacking the flanks. The wind was from the north and all of Oakland county lie to the south. Though in a complete panic with adrenalin flowing like a river, I was able to envision the lead story; Conflagration burns from Sunday through Tuesday, leaving hundreds homeless and destroying twenty square miles of northern Oakland county. The fire, which was thought to have been created by a mishap involving a cow and a lamp turned out to have been caused by the reckless behavior of a careless idiot. He is tentatively identified as Bud Beeler of Oxford.

    I stood my ground in the path of the inferno and flailed with the jacket at roughly two hundred beats per minute. In the throes of incredible fury, I began gaining the upper hand and pushed past my exhaustion into a mechanical frenzy. And then it was over. I collapsed to my hands and knees among the char and wept briefly before vomiting.

    After a delerious period of shaking I felt stable enough to get to my feet and wearily walk back to my car. Twisting the rear view mirror down to get a look at my red, blistered face, I didn't recognize myself. I used to have a moustache and eyebrows. The front of my scalp was a hard matt of melted hair.
    It was several days before I stopped coughing up soot and almost as long for the ache of my depleted muscles to abate.

    I'm less trusting of wind and fire now. When I build a campfire, I use more caution. And I like to have a denim jacket handy... just in case.
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I can relate to that fire story.

    My parents were driving me back to college in Eugene, OR from the LA area when we saw a small fire that had just started in the brush on the side of the freeway. My dad pulled over and we jumped out and tried to put it out. He grabbed a shovel and my mom and I were stomping away at the edges. A few more people stopped and everyone was trying frantically to put the fire out before it went over the sizable berm into the brush and forest behind it.

    Next thing we knew the whole side of the berm was burning, despite all the people it spread a dozen yards (meters) in less than a minute or two.

    A semi driver stopped and pulled out his fire extinguisher and was finally able to make short work of the fire.

    Fire is an amazing thing. The speed it spreads is mind boggling. I carry a small fire extinguisher in my car now.
     
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  3. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    lovely story. I set fire to my backside once, rolling a joint in a public toilet - couldn't tell anyone because, well, y'know I was rolling a joint. Long time ago before I became a judge.
     
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  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There has to be more to the story than this. How can you set your backside on fire by rolling a joint? o_O Were you trying to light it between your buttocks or something? If so, I'm told you're supposed to smoke them with your mouth. I've never smoked a joint, but that's what they tell me. Give it a try and get back to me. :p
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    edit: too gross for public, I'll stick elsewhere
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think that's exactly what @minstrel is trying to suggest...
     
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