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Friday, October 15, 2010

Watch Your Ash!

This morning it was clear and cool, with all this fur I sure like the cooler weather. But with the cooler weater I know some of you will be starting to crank up your wood stoves and fireplaces. Hot ashes are a significant cause of house and wildfires from fall to early spring. Just last year someones beautiful home burned to the ground and also set the woods on fire all due to someone being to lazy to dispose of the hot ashes properly. They just dumped what they thought were cold ashes in the flower bed adjacent to the homes wooden deck. The deck caught fire, the house was next to go and then the woods were set on fire. No one was hurt but the home was a total loss.

Here is todays Tip of The Blog
Hot Ash Safety Fact Sheet
Wood ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days. Forestry officials caution homeowners about this serious threat to the safety of their families and homes. Improper ash disposals have already destroyed homes, outbuildings and valuable resources this fall. Please be careful!!!
What can you do to prevent forest and field fires from igniting from hot wood ash?
  • Dispose of wood ashes in a metal container that can be tightly closed, douse with water, place the closed container outside your home away from combustible materials and leave in the container for several days before disposing of them. (Did you know that many people dispose of their wood stove ashes in garbage containers that are often plastic or even paper bags? It doesn’t take much heat for these types of containers to burst into flames.)
  • Teach other family members about the dangers associated with hot ash disposal
  • Be careful with ashes around areas you might not consider as combustible during wetter times such as mulched flowerbeds and lawns that are drought stricken.
  • Do Not place hot ashes in a dumpster where there are certainly other combustible materials
  • Do Not dispose of ashes in a paper, plastic or cardboard containers
  • Do Not assume the ashes are cold and pour them onto the ground (even into a hole) where leaves can blow onto them or the wind can stir up sparks.
A cord of wood produces about 50 pounds of ashes, which can be used for many other purposes.
Once you are POSITIVE your container of ashes is “Cold”, place in a pile and prepare your container for the next load.
Ashes from different types of wood vary slightly in their chemical composition, but all kinds of ashes can be used as fertilizer. They produce 50 to 70% lime and contain phosphorus, potash and trace elements. Gardeners can raise the soil’s pH by applying wood ash to their soil. To avoid altering the pH too drastically, take a soil sample prior to the addition of wood ashes to your garden spot. If the soil pH value is below 5.8 and there is a lime recommendation on the soil test, then place a dusting of wood ash on the surface and work it into the soil.
Ashes may be used as a repellent. Sprinkle ashes beside row crops and on paths through the garden to discourage slugs and snails.

Stay Warm AND SAFE
Smokey B

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