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Posted on Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Controlled burn catches corner of Saline barn Saturday morning

By Cole Bertsos


A controlled burn near the intersection of Bethel Hill Drive and Bethel Church Road got a little out of hand Saturday morning.

Daniel Brenner I

The Saline Fire Department responded to a controlled burn in Lodi Township that got a little out of hand on Saturday morning, catching the corner of a nearby barn on fire.

The barn was at the intersection of Bethel Hill Drive and Bethel Church Road in Saline. No one was injured in the fire and the barn sustained very little damage.

According to Fire Chief Craig Hoeft, firefighters were able to get the blaze under control quite quickly with assistance of Manchester and Pittsfield departments also on the scene with brush trucks.

Hoeft said though they're usually not a big deal, it's easy for controlled burns to get out of hand.

"People have to be cautious when they're burning and know what the weather is that day," he said. "They have to use common sense when they're burning."

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Dirty Mouth

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Well, then it wasn't a controlled burn, was it?

Richard Carter

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Re: "Controlled": "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

From the condition of the barn, if it is the one on the left, the fire might have been a benefit.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

@ EyeHeartA2, re: "What is the purpose in doing a controlled burn?" A lot of native plants evolved in the presence of prairie fires. These fires burn off the thatch, which otherwise would block the growth of new shoots both physically, and by blocking out the sun. Since these grasses grow from the roots, not the stems, the plants themselves easily survive the fires. Not so trees, whose buds get burnt in these fires. Naturally-occurring prairie fires maintained the prairies as vast grasslands for centuries and more, and prevented them from turning into forests. So planned burns are the healthiest way to maintain natural grasslands. Interestingly, The Law Of Unintended Consequences has taught us that vigilant fire prevention leads to the build-up of fuel to the point where we now have devastating fires that take decades to recover from: In forests, frequent quick, low-grade fires burning off the duff and thatch don't harm mature trees, but rather stimulate their growth by burning and exploding their cones, releasing their seeds for the next generation to start up. Prevent these natural fires for too many years and the fuel builds up to the point where the eventual fire destroys everything. We're just now learning what Mother Nature has always known.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

Thank you.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Who wrote that headline?


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

What is the purpose in doing a controlled burn?


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 1:28 a.m.

Thanks. I learned something.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

It is to clear out area's with brush and such that would take a long time to clean or a day to burn, and the burn adds a significant amount of nutrients to the soil. Controlled burn can happen in places where there are big buildings that are not near anything else that can catch fire, because a little ash is easier and cheaper to clean. Old barns are usually purposely burned down to make way for a new barn, in the old days. they were called barn burns where they would have a huge party and pig roast, for the barn burning, then the next day they would clean the ash usually scattering it all over the fields for crops. and all the people would have a new barn built the next few days. That was the old days when real farming took place and not all this Monsanto bologna, going on.


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Controlled Burn, is this hash bash related?


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.



Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

I was going say that. ;-)


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

Using the word "controlled" a little loosly?


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I'm a big believer in multiple, small backfires, and not trying to do the whole thing in one day. Once a scorched, 6-15-ft-wide perimeter (depending on the overall size of the field to be burned) has been established, the main burn will be a LOT easier to contain. Start with a small square, beat down the edges once it has reached the desired break width, and don't extend its length until it has burned down some. Then extend it in one direction only –– into the wind, preferably, if there is one. Work your way around, walk the perimeter until the embers have died down, and do the main burn tomorrow. At buildings, wood fences, etc, start your breaks well away from them, and as the fire dies down, allow it to creep closer at a VERY low, slow burn, beating/hosing it down to keep it low and slow. Stop a few feet away, of course, unless it's an unpainted cinder-block building, and hog out the rest by hand/mechanical means: Stray tufts of straw, and old mouse nests, make wonderful tinder, so if any flames lick up under the siding, you can have a roaring inferno inside without even knowing until it is too late, even if you have been hosing down the outside for safety. Roads and driveways are already excellent breaks, of course, and there is usually no need to do a perimeter burn alongside them. Take advantage of these. Burn on one side of a driveway at a time, even if you are eventually going to burn the other side as well. Unless you have a big crew, and water trucks/backpacks, this is the safest way to go.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

I am not reading all of that. How about a condensed version.

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

a little windy for a prescribed/controlled/whatever burn. just sayin'...


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

That's exactly why most places call them "prescribed" burns these days.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

good point, a better description.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

It seems to me that "controlled burn" is a rather fluid concept. it seems to me as soon as something unplanned starts to burn it ceases to be be "controlled".