Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fire in Connecticut

You don't often hear about wildland fires in Connecticut, and you would not have heard about this one-acre fire near Wilton, except the report I saw included a photo of a fire boat. OK, most people would not call this a boat.... it's an amphibious ATV outfitted with a pump and hose.

These amphibious ATVs can be useful for suppressing fires in cattails. Cattails grow in water, and when they are cured out, burn like brush. It's next to impossible to stop a cattail fire when it's moving above the water... unless you can get out ahead of it with a boat or ATV like this and drive back and forth knocking down the cattails so they are mostly underwater. Cattails don't spot very often, so a fairly narrow line can stop the fire.

The tricky part is being out in front of a fast-moving fire in a boat, pushing through cattails and hoping the motor does not stall or you get stuck.


Mid West Fire Guy said...


Constructing line without safe anchor point.

Attempting frontal assault on fire.

Unburned fuel between you and the fire.

Terrain or fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.

I think I will watch from my Marsh Master as we work up the flank of these burning cattails and Phrag.

Argo are a good "recreational" users machine. They do not stand up for long to the heavy "industrial" use they would get working wildland fire. They have plastic hulls, and chain drive. Its a pain to keep the chains tight and lubticated. Only thing worse if the belts that are on a number of ATV's. Once they get wet they slip and there you are right where you don't want to be.

Dalmatian90 said...

Agree with mid west's assesment. I'd be hesitant to be in relatively flashy fuels like cattails and marsh grasses. Especially since most large areas of cattails I've seen in New England are coastal and you're likely to have a very steady breeze driving them.

Speaking of marsh fires and Connecticut, here's some photos I took earlier this year...I didn't get there quite soon enough to catch much of the flame front -- it was putting up a heck of a header I could see from 12 miles away. They slogged their best working to flank the fire.


Dalmatian90 said...


(If the url gets cut again, the missing part is: ril_08/ )

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