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roadrunner 57172 1 Burning Oops either
Burning Oops
Photographer: My Grandmother
Place: Silverton, Oregon / USA
Crop Type: Chewings Fescue
Machines: None
Date: Approximately August, 1992
Description:
This is another small series demonstrating the burning
process, this time of my Uncle’s Freeman place. Sometimes,
accidents happen, and this was one of those times. Things
started normal enough. The service winds were heading due
east, so we started back-burning on the east side of field.
The farmer in the field next door had a beautiful field of
standing wheat.
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Re: Burning Oops
Photographer: My Grandmother
Place: Silverton, Oregon / USA
Crop Type: Chewings Fescue
Machines: None
Date: Approximately August, 1992
Description:
This is a shot of my uncle nearly completing the first back
burn strip of the Freeman place.
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Re: Burning Oops
Photographer: My Grandmother
Place: Silverton, Oregon / USA
Crop Type: Chewings Fescue
Machines: None
Date: Approximately August, 1992
Description:
With all the excitement this particular day generated, one
would have thought that my dear Grandmother would have
captured some of it for the historical record. Instead,
there’s only a picture of the fire truck that “stopped by”
for a visit. Off to the left of the picture you can see the
blackened wheat field where the fire got into the standing
wheat of the neighbor.

This particular day I happened to be driving a tractor with
a water tank, and I still remember the chills that went down
my spine when someone reported over the CB radio that the
fire had leaped into the wheat field.

Around all of the fields my uncles farm is a dirt strip
(referred to as a “fire break”) anywhere from ten to fifteen
feet wide. This is usually rototilled and kept weed free as
much as possible so as to have a small buffer zone between
fields, and between fields and trees, etc. Despite this
precaution, however, sometimes the wind comes through and
picks up straw and deposits it all over the fire break. I’m
not sure what exactly happened this time, but perhaps it was
this that caused the fire to jump over to the wheat field.
More likely, however, was something I explained in a
previous post—the fire starts to generate its own weather
patterns, and probably created a whirlwind that carried
burning straw into the wheat.

By this time, the field had been completely ringed, but I
remember zipping over to the wheat field side of the field
as fast as I could, where others were already tackling the
fire in the wheat. It wasn’t exactly fun, but we managed to
get the fire put out before the fire department arrived,
despite a driving west wind that drove the fire further out
into the neighboring farmer’s wheat field. Fortunately,
nobody was hurt, and with a little teamwork we managed to
snuff the fire out.
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Re: Burning Oops
Photographer: My Grandmother
Place: Silverton, Oregon / USA
Crop Type: Chewings Fescue
Machines: None
Date: Approximately August, 1992
Description:
Here’s a photo of the aftermath. Thank goodness for
insurance for things like this!
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