The BurnBoss® from Air Burners – The Best Tool for Small Scale Urban Wildland Interface Fuels Management
Forest Fires are part of Nature’s tools to maintain a healthy forest and the fires are even a necessity for certain species of trees to reproduce. They cannot be eliminated, but their devastating effects on the population can be mitigated or even eliminated. We must recognize that forest fires or bushfires did not get closer to people, rather people moved closer to where the wildfires occur.
Mostly, because of the beauty of forests and their trees and the healthful surrounds they make, people enjoy living in or at the edge of forests and woodlots. That trend cannot be reversed and will continue if our forests stay healthy and alive. Therefore, measures must be taken voluntarily or by mandate to shield residents and property from destruction by wildfires whether man-induced or caused by natural events like lightning strikes. Several years ago, the US Forest Service instituted programs to clean the understory from woodlots and forests near residences and businesses. The understory is the vegetation, mostly brush and small trees, that Nature tends to burn away by natural fires. When left to grow taller they become “ladder fuel”. It is this ladder fuel that directs the fire to the canopies and that is the beginning of a devastating forest fire. The fire will jump from treetop to treetop. Without the ladder fuel, only the low vegetation would burn away and scorch the tree trunks from natural fires that occur from time to time. That has a positive effect, as unwanted plant growths and pests are naturally destroyed or pushed back.
The Forest Service has named the ongoing projects to clean the land near habitable areas “Wildland-Urban Interface Fuels Treatment” and federal grants to pay for these efforts have been around for a decade or more. Some of these projects span several years and are massive undertakings. Quite a few Air Burners FireBoxes have been utilized for the wood waste elimination, many funded by grants for these worthwhile endeavors.
In this blog we want to address small scale projects and the best tools from Air Burners to make them efficient and successful.
Small communities, even homeowners’ associations, resorts and clubs are often confronted with the need for urban wildland interface cleanup to protect their properties from wildfires. Quite often it is the local fire department that is tasked with this job. As is the case with all cleanup operations, after the waste has been collected after cutting down the ladder fuels, it must be eliminated. The cost of chipping and transporting the wood waste to a landfill and paying tipping fees to dispose of the debris is often so high that the project cannot be funded.
Air Burners is offering an affordable tool allowing these lifesaving endeavors to be accomplished within tight budgets. For HOA’s, resorts and small communities, the BurnBoss® has proven to be an excellent machine to handle the onsite wood waste elimination from small scale fuels management projects. Utilizing the BurnBoss or any other air curtain machine from Air Burners is the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to reduce wood waste, as 95% to 98% waste reduction can be achieved. For slightly larger communities, the Roll-off S116R and S119R FireBoxes are very practical and will yield the same results. They can be delivered by standard roll-off trucks.
The BurnBoss is trailer-mounted and can be hauled to suitable locations, like a park, ball field or even large cul-de-sac, by a pickup truck. Volunteers remove the underbrush from woodlots near homes, businesses and parks as well as all easily flammable vegetative debris near buildings and load them by hand into the BurnBoss. Most of this work would be done by hand-slashing or the use of small power tools. Heavy equipment would not be required, but a mini excavator could be useful, if available.
Once the area has been made more fire-safe, the BurnBoss is moved to the next cleanup project location.
The burn area of the BurnBoss is open to the ground and it must be positioned on an unpaved spot with level dirt and no combustibles within approximately 100 feet. At the end of the workday the wood ash which by default includes some biochar can be applied to the land at the forest’s edge and covered with dirt to prevent any ash from getting airborne. It is a useful soil amendment and not a waste product. The BurnBoss eliminates any need for grinding or chipping and hauling, if the wood debris fits into the machine, it will go away. No pre-processing is needed.
Videos of the BurnBoss in operation can be viewed on Air Burners’ website at www.AirBurners.com and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/R9TMdSt-55g . You will also find technical specifications and the Operating Manual for the BurnBoss on our website, all of which can be downloaded free of charge. The project leader should make himself or herself fully familiar with all aspects of the operation of the BurnBoss and is invited to call Air Burners Customer Service Department for guidance and advice. Above all, let us stress Safety First!