Off-Grid and Free: The Terror of Forest Fires, Part 2

| 6/6/2016 11:22:00 AM

Tags: fire managment, sprinkler systems, remote living, wildfires, preparedness, Ron Melchiore, Canada, Saskatchewan,

In last week's post, Off Grid and Free: The Terror of Forest Fires, Part 1, I portrayed the horror of forest fires both with pictures and a written first-hand account via an excerpt from my book, Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness. We've survived multiple fire threats over the last 16 years and I'd like to pass on some information on how we did that.

 When we moved out here, we bought a water pump, fire hoses, garden sprinklers and garden hoses (which serve as sprinkler supply lines). Higher quality sprinklers and supply hoses are available and if I had to do it over again I would opt for those. Our spring ritual is to set up all our equipment long before the first thunder and lightning appear. By doing so, at the first sign of trouble, we're ready.

The first step is to set up the fire pump on our beach. By means of a quick coupler, a 2.5-inch PVC suction line is connected to the pump and extends about 12 feet out into the lake. On the end of the pipe that is in the water, I have a foot valve which allows water to flow one way to the pump but prevents water from draining back into the lake. That's important, because you don't want the water pump to drain of water and thereby lose its prime. The foot valve rests on a rock about 8 inches off the lake bottom so that sand and other debris isn't sucked into the system.

Water Pump Setup

On the output side of the water pump there is a threaded coupler which ultimately connects to standard 1.5-inch firehose. Several 100-foot sections of hose are connected together to make the run up the hill to the house. Mounted on a porch post is a manifold which takes the high pressure water from the pump and redirects it out to smaller feed lines, the garden hoses I mentioned earlier.

We have 5 outlets on this manifold which we can control via individual valves. We can shut off or engage each sprinkler with the turn of a valve. Sprinklers can be mounted singly or in series, so there are some instances where one valve may control two sprinkler heads.

8/5/2016 11:58:05 AM

Sounds like you are as safe from forest fires as it is possible to be and are well-equipped and prepared to deal with them. I hope your preparation and luck hold and continue to keep your home safe.

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