Bin fire

Bin fireHad a quick binfire yesterday, and only just in time. It’s pouring again, and for the foreseeable.

I’ve been nervous about fires ever since a moment of inattention almost turned into a catastrophe. I decided to have a fire on the allotment in July… during that drought heatwave of 3 or 4 years ago. On a roastingly hot, windy day.

I’m sure you’re way ahead of me: I turned my back for a few seconds to do something, only to find that the little fire I’d started had been blown into a raging inferno.

And when I say inferno, I mean it: this was a huge, dangerous conflagration that took hold of some brambles and went nuclear. The flames were 4m high, and getting higher. And the noise – crackling, whooshing, hissing, roaring. Terrifying.

My pathetic efforts to douse it were utterly useless. I managed only to singe off half an eyebrow and set my trouser leg on fire.

By the grace of God, an allotment neighbour happened to be watering with a hose and came to my rescue. But it still took us 20 mins to put the fire out. I was pathetically, weepingly grateful. For a few minutes, I’d been the man responsible for burning down everyone’s allotments and several neighbouring houses.

I could see the headlines spinning in my fevered imagination: “Soilman Fucks Up Utterly”.

So I’m now cautious to the point of paranoia. Fires only happen in bins, and I stare at them so hard I barely blink. Where fires are concerned, dear Reader, I recommend Serious Care and Attention.

Here endeth the lesson.

11 Responses to “Bin fire”

  1. Carrie Says:

    You leant the hard way then. Silly soilman – fire is mysterious and must be watched at all times. Ummm, singed eyebrow, bet that smelt lovely and looked mighty attractive!

  2. Soilman Says:

    No shit, Carrie. I’m a total div. A moron could have foreseen it, given the conditions, but I failed to.

  3. Mike Says:

    I had this happen once as well, a fire out of control that I was barely able to put out. A lesson I will not soon forget. It does indeed humble a person and make them overly cautious going forward. Most of the burning we do is in the form of early spring brush piles created from storm cleanup. I now only burn them in the very early spring and on slightly rainy days with a hose and shovel by my side.

  4. Mal's Allotment Says:

    Come to Edinburgh – it was never dry enough for a proper fire in 2009. 2008’s mound has become 2009’s compost heap. Wouldn’t mind except it is full of brassicca roots, horseradish, sow’s thistle and mare’s tail.

    (psss Some council’s have declared fires verboten. A nod in the direction of Copenhagen)

    Not belittling the respect you have engendered for the red tongued devil in any way, SM – Glad you can talk about it after 6 months!

  5. Mal's Allotment Says:

    …. or even 3 or 4 years. I’ll try to pay closer attention.

  6. altadenahiker Says:

    Funny, yesterday I was thinking that much of life is a series of near-misses. Until, of course, we meet the one that refuses to miss.

  7. Tanya Walton Says:

    ok…so I know this could have been very serious..but..lol…I have wonderful visuals of you running around shaking your leg trying to put the fire out.

    I’m glad you weren’t harmed and it got put out before too much damage was done!!

    Fires were banned on our allotment last year so that isn’t going to happen in the near future for me but I think bins are a good idea for burning..though the point of using a bin Soilman…is so that you can turn your back on it….being a little irish over it I think!!!

  8. Soilman Says:

    Daren’t, Tanya. The whole experience scared the shit out of me. Reinforced a few months ago when a neighbour’s shed went up in flames at midnight. We had our bedroom window open, and were woken by smoke. It turned into a major fire very close to our houses. Another fire close-shave that shook me up horribly.

    Fire: Don’t fuck with it.

  9. Simon Says:

    Ha Ha! Nice one, you still make me larf!

  10. Liz Says:

    We generally struggle to get a fire going – you need to give us some tips!

  11. Soilman Says:

    Liz hi

    One word: Petrol