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#164679 - 01/23/09 05:29 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: scafool]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
As a former firefighter, I'd leave. If I'd stayed and lost water pressure, it would be usually too late to leave. my properties are well insured and can be rebuilt, my life can't.
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Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
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#164684 - 01/23/09 06:05 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: Stu]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
I've always wondered - if I lived in a wildfire prone area, could you build a true "shelter" - say (off my head) a fully underground concrete (say 6" walls and roof) room detactched from the house. Say the roof is 12" below grade, and you have steps down, door, corridor, door, room.

I would think with a facility like that (and saw water haze in the corridor), you could stay and defend pretty much till the end, and worst comes to worst, it burns over the top
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73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#164696 - 01/23/09 06:58 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: KG2V]
el_diabl0 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 301
Loc: NE Ohio
Just buy fire insurance and evacuate. No way I'm sticking around for that.

Isn't there some kind of foam that can be sprayed on that does a decent job of protecting the house? Spray it on and get the heck out!
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Improvise, adapt, and overcome

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#164697 - 01/23/09 07:00 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: KG2V]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: KG2V_was_kc2ixe
I've always wondered - if I lived in a wildfire prone area, could you build a true "shelter"...

I would think with a facility like that (and saw water haze in the corridor), you could stay and defend pretty much till the end, and worst comes to worst, it burns over the top


OK, I am going sideways a bit here, but not much.
Kurt Vonnegut was an American soldier in WWII. He was captured by the Germans. As a POW he was put to work in a slaughterhouse in Dresden. Kurt and the other POWs survived the bombing of Dresden and the firestorm that followed because their guards locked them into the underground meat cooler or cellar of the slaughterhouse.

He was a strange author, but Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death deals a bit with the aftermath of the Dresden firestorm. It deals a bit with the mental effect of it too.


Your idea of a fire bunker would likely work, but for the cost involved you could just build it above ground and call it your home more easily.
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May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#164706 - 01/23/09 07:28 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: scafool]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
First off, I am talking about a wildfire firestorm, not a wartime bombing-type firestorm.

Do you remember a very recent thread about the evacuations of large cities, and some of the reasons why it doesn't work well? The idiots causing the problems are the same kinds of people who try to stay and fight a wildfire, and then scream for help when they're surrounded. No training, no preparation, no brains, no forethought, no plan, but they suddenly want to stay and fight a huge fire.

Insurance companies are in the premium-collecting business, NOT the claim-paying business. Insurance is nothing but a contract, and if they aren't bound by a contract to pay your survivors for the loss of their breadwinner, tough.

"There are also the legal concerns, does a homeowner have the right to stay and protect their own property or not?"

Sure, let them stay if they want, but DON'T allow them to suck firefighters into saving them when they're caught in a bad spot. You make the decision to stay, its yours to deal with all the way to the end. Do it without your cell phone.

"I would think with a facility like that ... you could stay and defend pretty much till the end, and worst comes to worst, it burns over the top"

So what is the point of staying? If the fire is large enough, it will use all the oxygen in the area, and you'll pass out on the floor of your bunker or cave. Okay, what then? You eventually get air back after the fire passes, you wake up, and... what? What have you actually accomplished? Nothing. Staying just doesn't seem to accomplish anything.

It's just hubris, testosterone poisoning. You're just a puny, fragile human being, not the god your dog thinks you are.

Sue


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#164713 - 01/23/09 07:50 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: Susan]
Mike_in_NKY Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 121
Loc: KY
Our summer home was in the area of a very large forest fire in N. Ontario a few years ago. We were given a notice that evacuation was pending. Later we got a 2hr notice to leave. Most used the time between the original notice and the evacuation notice to get things ready to leave. We left.

Spent a week in my wife's cousin's basement and that was much better than staying in the house with light smoke present. Did not really want to find out what it would be like with heavy smoke or fire there.

When we came back we noticed that the MNR had put a sprinkler on each roof and connected them to 1 1/2 hose lines that were attached to gas powered pumps on the docks with inlet hoses into the lake. Guess it was to try and save some of the areas or maybe provide less fuel to the fire? Glad I didn't have the job to set those up! (and take them down!).

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#164715 - 01/23/09 08:15 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: Susan]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: Susan
First off, I am talking about a wildfire firestorm, not a wartime bombing-type firestorm....

....So what is the point of staying? If the fire is large enough, it will use all the oxygen in the area, and you'll pass out on the floor of your bunker or cave. Okay, what then? You eventually get air back after the fire passes, you wake up, and... what? What have you actually accomplished? Nothing. Staying just doesn't seem to accomplish anything....



Sue


I think a lot of the people are under estimating a wild fire and overestimating a city fire.
It might help if they thought about the available fuel for the fire.
Forest fires are big because they have a lot of fuel, but people usually discount prairie fires because they just have grass to burn.

I have seen a prairie fire (after, not during) where the wires and glass insulators were melted off the telephone poles.

California has brush cover about half way between a forest and a prairie for fuel, all bone dry and any fire usually has a dry warm wind to start pushing it.

Dresden was a city with a lot of wood buildings.
The fuel density might have matched a small forest fire, but it was likely quite a bit lower.
When you count stone buildings, streets and parks then Dresden likely matches the California Canyon brush fires..

Now what was that temperature you quoted in your comment about the Australian bush fires and them qualifying as fire storms?
I will go get it and add it to my comment.

Edit: This part.
Originally Posted By: Susan
In Canberra, Australia in 2003, there was a firestorm. Readings taken by CSIRO scientists indicated the temperature in the center of the blast was about 1832F. Water boils at 212F degrees, and I would imagine people would, too. So, what would homeowners do, stand on their roof with their little 1/2" hoses, spraying water that would evaporate before it hit the surface?


The parts of Canberra that fire burned through were a lot like California suburbs if I remember the news clips right.


Edited by scafool (01/23/09 08:22 PM)
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May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#164720 - 01/23/09 08:46 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: KG2V]
greeneyetech Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Feasterville, PA
Originally Posted By: KG2V_was_kc2ixe
I've always wondered - if I lived in a wildfire prone area, could you build a true "shelter" - say (off my head) a fully underground concrete (say 6" walls and roof) room detactched from the house. Say the roof is 12" below grade, and you have steps down, door, corridor, door, room.

I would think with a facility like that (and saw water haze in the corridor), you could stay and defend pretty much till the end, and worst comes to worst, it burns over the top


You'd have to include proper ventilation that would not be affected by the fire or its debris. Otherwise you won't have enough air.


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#164734 - 01/23/09 09:59 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: Todd W]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Firestorm defined...
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#164737 - 01/23/09 10:12 PM Re: Stay and defend your home from a wildfire? [Re: greeneyetech]
Sherpadog
Unregistered


As a former fighter who has worked more then enough house and wildland - urban interface fires, I really think it is foolish to stay and save your home if it is threatened. Too many times we experienced where the home-owner attempted to make his stand and we ended risking our lives saving the person from what could of truly been his last stand.

A fully involved wildland fire that can have temperatures in the 1000's of degrees and creates its own wind systems is beyond a homeowners ability to protect against. Those who do live through it, it was not because of their skill in holding back the fire, rather it was a four letter word called luck. All too often we see pictures where a wildland - urban interface fire has completely devastated a community and left one or two houses unscathed....that is also pure luck, nothing more, nothing less.

I would rather see the homeowner leave with his family and say "Its ok, we can rebuild." instead of a policeman having to tell his family something a whole lot worse...

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