Fires

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by ken_vandeburgt, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I like the sentiments as expressed by WGalbraith.
    If we are going to be able to have them at some of the spots we like or even keep some of the spots we like, we need to be sensitive to how they're used and left.

    For my case, the (contained) Neufeld Stove as expressed by kayakwriter, is a very modest, controlled approach.
     
  2. nhk750

    nhk750 Paddler

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    There was a few times in the San Juan Islands when I had a fire, that it attracted some big flying ant sort of bug. It could have been termites? I had to put out the fire in both cases because the bugs were attacking me relentlessly. I usually only have a fire if there is a fire pit in a designated area, but we have had a few fires on the beach at times.

    It is fun to have a fire and sit around chatting by the fireside, and we only use driftwood. No driftwood, no fire, that is our rule. Of course, you can always burn the fires prohibited signs in an emergency...hahaha... just kidding...
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Yup, them be termites: fragile wings, fat abdomens.

    San Juans does not have an open fire ban summers? Seems like a ban would be the case.
     
  4. mbiraman

    mbiraman Paddler

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    I also agree with WGalbraith and Mick etc. In fact i've been told directly by Forestry, concerning forestry rec sites, that the rules and fines in place are there for the idiots, not me, and that i could use my small wood stove.
     
  5. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Can you imagine what the campsites would look like without rule of law? It would be chaos and the only result would be an increase to the damage we are already seeing at popular sites.

    We've given the government the authority to manage our recreation areas. Even if we don't understand the reasons or agree with the reasons we should be complying with the rules.

    I suggest the rules are there to be broken only if there is a moral or common sense boundary being crossed in the setting of those rules.

    So far the only legitimate reason posited for bending those campfire bans is that of an emergency situation. And I mean by that an emergency where someones life is in the balance.

    Don't like the fire ban at your favorite campsite? Perhaps you should make petition to the site manager. Or travel to where the campsites are not yet administered.
     
  6. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Who determines what constitutes a life-threatening emergency?
     
  7. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    The people involved in the emergency. It should be pretty obvious when there are no other options. IE stranding, or injury is present.
     
  8. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Read Jack London's "To Build a Fire" to understand the ultimate price for not following the rules of fire building.
    My point is: think before you build a fire. Am I breaking mans laws or the laws of nature?
    Man's laws are open to debate, but nature's laws are fixed. If you keep Jack's story in mind you will be more in tune with unforeseen dangers.
    Roy
     
  9. Tunowit

    Tunowit New Member

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    Might just be me, but we seem to have gone from the legality and aesthetics of firebuilding to don't build fires under trees after falling into a creek in the frozen tundra on a clear day.

    I won't build fires anywhere I am not allowed, unless of course, for whatever reason, it is a matter of survival..
     
  10. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I dunno, Ken. That's leaving things pretty open. I recall a group recently somewhere in the US where they sent a SPOT emergency message. SAR showed up and the group was looking for some water! Can't recall the exact details but I think they did the same thing (or something similar) the next day and a very annoyed SAR extracted them. Not sure what the fallout was.

    My point is that most of us are quite able to see and comprehend "the obvious". The problem is that where a lot of people draw the line is far, far before most of us do (actually, I think your line might be further on down the road than mine -- but you get the point). So you see, there must be someone to draw that line because the person in the situation is not always competent to do so. Unfortunately, governments tend to draw that line near where you do because they must rule to the lowest common denominator, and in effect, penalizing those who have the knowledge to be responsible.

    Personally, I think that instead of punishing the offenders (where they end up learning nothing other than contempt for the rule makers) they should be educated. Don't put them down, bring them up. I'm no educator so I don't know what the best approach to do something like this would be, but I've no doubt that education would solve a lot of the problem in many cases, I suspect

    What I really don't like and do have a problem with is seeing fire pits ALL over a campsite. I was at Granite Falls (up Indian Arm) last year and counted 14 fire pits! I couldn't believe it. There were also fresh ax-cut trees which upset me even more. I spent a couple of hours dismantling all the pits, unfortunately there was nothing I could do about the trees.

    Don't regulate, educate.
     
  11. nhk750

    nhk750 Paddler

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    They only ban fires during extremely dry summers when there is an extreme fire danger. I have only seen this a few times. Plus all the camping areas in the San Juans have permanent fire pits with metal enclosures and folding grates. They are all State Campgrounds or DNR campgrounds. You can pirate camp on some beaches, but then you can only have a fire on the beach. I would imagine if you had a fire in the woods there would be huge fines if you got caught.
     
  12. AM

    AM Paddler

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    I suspect that it's "vandalism" (no other word for it) like that that makes Ken want more regulation. I haven't made up my mind yet. On the one hand, the situation in the local parks (Indian Arm, Widgeon) is so bad now that an increase in enforcement of existing regulations could only help the situation. I too have seen the worst sort of behaviour regarding fires: a group of canoe renters who had hacked down several young trees for their May Long fire. Stupid.

    On the other hand, a system that draws hard rules can quickly descend into the absurd. When I was on the Bowron route this summer, there was a complete fire ban for that entire section of the Interior. Unfortunately, the Interior Wet Belt had lived up to its name and I was squelching through mud on the portages without the motivation of a cozy fire in camp at night. A decision made in Williams Lake for the entire region made no sense for the Bowron.

    Hard to call, but I agree that education would be a sensible first step.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  13. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    BINGO!
    Emphasis on the bar always being set at the Lowest Common Denominator.
    We all know this...most of the laws we live with are all based on it...Insurance prices/costs are based on it.
    One can complain...but it will never change!

    The small wood-burning (Neufeld) stove is a wonderful exception to the rule if one must have the 'Flickering Flame' experience.

    Oh, and here's a suggestion...don't do kayak trips in August when most of the bans are put in place. (Spare areas with permanent bans).
     
  14. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Yeah I remember reading about that one. I think it is an anomoly.

    I'm not overly concerned about emergency fires. I think that is a very small part of the problem.

    I agree that education can mitigate the problem of improper fires as described.

    The bigger problem is people building fires in places where regulation exists banning fires. Usually that is in the campsites. Hard to educate people who do this.

    I don't know what the solution is for unsupervised 'adults' who think the rules don't apply because 'they know what they are doing'.

    In some places you now have to be with a guide. I'd hate to see that happen.
     
  15. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    LOL!! I find this thread very interesting. Well, after reading all those comments I know I will be "slammed" by what I'm about to say, so be it. Here goes....

    -I live on the West(Wet) Coast of Vancouver Island. Driftwood abounds on its beaches.
    -I make fires that can be seen by the "space station". The bigger the better! When you make them big enough (and hot enough) you can drop a log "soaked" and just washed up on the beach into the fire and in a few minutes it "ignites". Whooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaa!
    -I always cook on a "beach/driftwood" fire. A stove is packed but very seldom used. Emergency only!
    -I always cleanup and leave "no trace" as to where I had a fire.
    -Certainly, any heavy used areas have no driftwood........I will go to those areas in the "spring" before the crowds arrive, and make use of the abundance of driftwood. To bad for all those that arrive later, I burnt all your wood! Not to worry, the next big storm will bring another pile.
    -There is absolutely nothing like a "true" west coast experience than to sit with a group of people in front of a "raging" fire drinking wine, enjoying fine seafood freshly caught and smoking a big "doobie".

    Bring on the comments and tell me how politically incorrect I am and how selfish I am.......
     
  16. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    If you have a big fire, how do you clean it so as to leave no trace?
    Do you let it smolder overnight so all the wood is consumed?
    Do you toss half-burnt logs into the ocean to wash up on the beach later?

    I find that even with a small fire, at the end of the evening, I spend about half an hour pushing bits of wood around trying to get them to finish burning.
     
  17. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    Burn it all!!! Fires are "planned" to burn. When I know I leave I know that all "big" logs are now small and burnt to its last remains. I LOVE fires!!!
    "Let a fire smolder overnight so all the wood is consumed".....noooooooooo! I "pile" the fuel on prior to going "night night" so when I awake the fire is still "smoldering" and I can cook my breakfast on it without the effort of starting another fire. Driftwood abounds on the West(wet) Coast!
     
  18. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    How do you guarantee that your overnight fire does not send sparks into the woods?
     
  19. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    LOL!! Ahhhhhhh......West(Wet) Coast.......on the lowest of the beach....even in EXTREME drought the West Coast is soaked in "dew".....sparks are "impossible" to ignite a fire. Try sleeping outside on a beautiful August day on the West Coast in a sleeping bag........the "dew" will drench your bag......
    Never have any fears of "fires" spreading" on the West Coast......other areas, yes. But not the outer coast.
     
  20. glcwhistler

    glcwhistler Paddler

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    Bigbear-

    I had to laugh when I saw the recent posts... I understand what you are talking about.. ( except for the doobie )

    I was getting kinda stressed thinking I might be the only caveman paddling my way into the kayak community.... I know there are others as well but this touchy feely approach to camping and fires in the great outdoors just creeps me out... You might be looked at as a Barbarian by the others?... I have to say I have the same inner Caveman in me but feel I need to comply with the rules of playing nice with others, does that mean everyone needs to? Hell no.. It is why I doubt I will be touring during the summer months and if I do I will be very selective to the areas where I go to be free of others and not choose to be in those designated areas where people are going to be uptight about fires... Scaring the land isn't what I am about or intending...
    I just find it funny people talking about the impact of humans with a small fire and burnt driftwood. ( I agree with not cutting down trees unless it is in an emergency).. Canada seems to be selling its soul to the highest bidder when it comes to logging and mining... The entire west coast seems to be at the discretion of the first nations people and whoever else has been pillaging and plundering the natural resources for past two centuries... Burnt pieces of driftwood in the big scheme of things isn't Canada's or America's biggest issue..

    I just didn't want you to feel you were alone in your feelings... If you are going to stand out against the "man"..? I might as well jump into the pool too.... Someone has to help put the "P" in the pool or it would just be an ool......