The Brady Burn

March 24, 2011

Bad ideas, Lloyd

Last night John Brady (you might remember Kate Brady who used to comment here, but who no longer loves us enough to comment) asked if I could help him do a controlled burn on one of his fields. I asked how much he was charging to help. I was willing to pay up to $30.00, but he said that since I was such a good friend that he would let me help for free. That’s just the way John is.

Besides, I owed him one. I needed someone to drive a car for Don Stenberg in the Seward 4th of July parade last year and John drove. Later Don Stenburg hired him. That’s just the way John is.

Anyway, everything was perfect. The wind was from the right direction, the humidity was right. John had everything setup. We started the “back burn”, which is not as painful as it sounds, at 5:30 and I think we started the actual burn (I thought someone might call it the front burn, but no one did in my hearing) around 7:00. John’s son in law, Trevor, is a member of the Eagle Volunteer Fire Department, and he showed up soon after we started to lend an official air to the proceedings.

For those of you not familiar with the process, we light a fire all the way around the side of the field that the wind is blowing toward with a propane tank connected to a curved tube. After that has burned a few feet in both directions, we put out the edge that is traveling with the wind. Once that is done around the edge that the wind is blowing toward, you light the other side and get out of the way.

Then, once the fire was going well on both ends and everything was just about all burned up, John did a rain dance or something and the lightning came, then the thunder and then the sleet. It was an awesome end to an awesome fire.

Here are two completely unedited videos so that Kate can enjoy the burn too (she was inside with the grandkids while we had all the fun).

UPDATE: It’s a good thing John didn’t put off the burn until today…

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Laurenโ€™s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

View all posts by Lloyd


Stay connected as you care to...

18 Responses to “The Brady Burn”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I remember watching my uncle’s field burn like that, but I think it was started by a lightning strike.

    Burning is so pretty…


    • Lloyd Said on:

      I have a pretty clear memory of going up the road a little when we were kids and helping put out a field that was not suppose to be burning.


    • Beth Said on:

      A cigarette. From some kids fishing at his pond, he speculated. That’s what started it.

      And I trid to stamp out some of the little fires and melted the sole of my Whimzee.


  2. Lauren Said on:

    I was pretty disappointed that I had conferences and missed the burning, although as soon as the rain and sleet arrived I would have been outta there and that field would be on its own.


  3. Gretchen Said on:

    I know someone who started a fire like that once. Only I think he was called a “pyromaniac” or “junior arsonist” or something like that.


  4. Beth Said on:

    Apparently, it should be noted that the obsession fascination with fire apparently doesn’t stop with Lauren.


  5. Peggy Said on:

    Dang Lauren, I’m sorry you had to miss it. ๐Ÿ™

    Maybe John could do a controlled burn in your back yard…I hear he’s nice like that. And then you wouldn’t have to mow all summer.

    Very cool pictures & videos! How long was the burn in distance…it looks like it goes on for a long, long way.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      I’m not a very good judge of distance, so maybe Kate or John could give us real numbers, but it seems like it was about 1 football field* wide and maybe 3-4 football fields long.

      *For Nigel: about 100 metres by 300-400 metres


  6. Lauren's dad Said on:

    We won’t charge you anything either, Lloyd, to come burn our irrigation ditch with us.


  7. Mark Said on:

    I started a controlled burn in our neighbor’s yard once. We stuffed an Estes rocket motor into the mouth of a 2-liter soda bottle and tried to launch it. Soda bottles, aerodynamically speaking, are more prone to travel horizontally than go vertical. The Pepsi-rocket bounced across our neighbor’s yard starting several small and localized fires; thus, the initiation of a controlled burn.

    Yard fires, too, melt the bottoms of tennis shoes.


    • Lauren's mom Said on:

      I wanted that to say (and Mark’s mom, too)

      Interesting the things parents learn once their “kids” are grown. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Mark Said on:

        We found a box containing a whole LOT of small cardboard tubes under the bathroom sink one time, and discovered that the smallest Estes rocket motor would just fit inside the smaller of the two tubes. Some recipe cards were cut up to make nose caps and rocket fins, then taped or glued into place.

        We must have shot off two dozen of those mini-missiles. I don’t remember what we did with all the stuff we didn’t use.


Leave a Reply