Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
They say rules are made to be broken. During the BASH we tell people to do this, don’t do that, blah, blah, blah !!! Yeah I know, rules. Well the one rule that someone broke this past weekend as they left the camp grounds was the “empty your ashes in the big bon fire pit in the center of the field. I guess someone was just in too much of a hurry to carry their ashes the 100 yards to the ash pit. Instead they dumped them under a very large hemlock/pine tree. Now if you know anything about pines and hemlocks is that they drop their needles, small branches and bark around the base of the tree. The bows of the tree keep this area dry even after a nice rain. It builds up into a nice thick, dry tinder, just right for starting a fire. As the camp owner and I sat talking in front of the camp, the last of the BASHers had left at least a half hour ago by this time, he saw some smoke. We went down to investigate. I carried a shovel and rake figuring what we would find. There it was…smoke coming from the base of a tree….. hot ashes under a big pine, smoldering away. The bows of the tree were hanging on the ground so you really couldn’t see the spot where the ashes were dumped without actually wading in thru the hanging branches. Looks like it was dumped from a fire pan of some sort because there was no evidence of a spot where there was a fire on the ground, no burnt spot around the site there anywhere. I shoveled the hot ashes and small pieces of burnt wood out onto the stones there at this particular camping spot. Then we headed back to the camp to get some water to throw on the spot where the ashes were smoldering under the tree just to make sure it was out completely. By the time we walked back to the camp and rounded up a big pot…. there is was once more…..A good amount of smoke coming from the same spot. I grabbed the pot and filled it with water and ran down only to find a hot spot still trying to catch the dry needles and bark under the tree. Had we been in a hurry to get out of there and not hung out talking for a bit those carelessly tossed hot ashes would have gone unnoticed and most likely sat smoldering until they started a fire…. and at best…… burned some trees… At worst, with the dry conditions it could have burned the place to the ground. Some rules are too costly to break. Please empty your ashes in the fire pit !!! Thanks You !!
Posted by Chili at 7:22 AM