Services: Fire - Other Fires

Car Fire

Most people think of structure fires when they think of the fire department, but we are called on to put out any type of fire. Sometimes a car has malfunctioned and has caught fire. Although they may seem to be a relatively benign type of fire, they can be extremely dangerous.

Some of the hazardous associated with a car fire include the fuel in the car. Classic cars carry significant amounts of gasoline, which is extremely flammable. Newer cars pose whole new threats, with hybrid system containing high power electrical systems. The extensive use of airbags pose dangers unto themselves.

And finally, we just never know what might be contained within the car. From the legal transport of gas grill propane cylinders to the illegal transport of dangerous chemicals, the car fire is always treated as a dangerous situation.

Another type of non-structural fire we are called to is a brush fire that has gotten out of control. These are fairly common during the spring and summer months. The primary hazards at a brush fire are the fire itself, the smoke cloud from it, and heat-related injuries (heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.).

Our primary tools for fighting brush fires are:

• Indian tanks
• Brooms and rakes
• 342 (Polaris brush fire 6-wheeler)

Indian tanks are back-pack containers with 5 gallons of water or water-soap and a hand pump wand with alterable nozzles. The wearer walks along the fire line (black side) and sprays down the fire and just in front of it. In this manner, just a few firefighters can quickly knock down a significant fire.

Car Fire

Brooms and rakes are surprisingly effective in fighting a brush fire. Brush fires are almost always confined to the top layer of flammable material on the ground. If the currently burning substance can be pulled away from the rest of the fuel source, the fire will be broken. Brooms and rakes are used to do this by standing in the black and pulling (rakes) or sweeping (brooms) the burning material towards you. Since the burning material is coming into the black, it will not ignite anything else on fire. Like Indian tanks, a few firefighters can knock down a significant amount of fire. Normally, Indian tanks and rakes/brooms are used together and provide the most effective combination.

The newest tool in the brush firefighting arsenal is 342. It contains 50 gallons of water, a portable pump, and hoses/sprayers. With a two person crew (driver and sprayer), a very large area can be covered with almost no stress to the firefighters. In larger incidents, 342 can also be used to ferry water and personnel between staging and the fire.

As incidents grow in size, 341 can be used to attack the fire. It contains 200 gallons of water, a portable pump, and significant lengths of forestry hose. For even larger incidents, a pumper can be used for water supply and/or attacking with larger diameter house.