Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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dirt slinging wildfire fighting device

fight fire with dirt!
  [vote for,

this truck mounted device could vary in consruction , but would pick up dirt and throw it at fires from a safe distance. this could be helpful for fighting forest fires in remote areas where thetre is not much water.
bobenhotep, Jul 25 2004

Firefighting bombs http://www.halfbake...irefighting_20bombs
Same tyrannical principle, but from the air. [bungston, Oct 04 2004]

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       there was a tree down in my garden a couple of weeks back and when the guys had finished chopping it into smaller pieces, they put the branches through a chipper which interestingly blew out the bits quite forcefully out the other side. these bits were incredibly damp, I imagine that it was due to the moisture in the tree itself. wildfires bring down lots of trees etc so perhaps these chipping machines might help? perhaps they do already use them, I have no idea...
po, Jul 25 2004

       Yeah, but what if they don't put the fire out and then dry out and then warm up, [po]?. Trouble I'd wager!.
[bob] While it is generally agreed that a big dump of earth on a small fire will smother it I am not sure that chucking sods from a distance will really help.
gnomethang, Jul 25 2004

       Raging forest fires are hot enough that damp vegetation will do little to stop them (as anyone who has ever played with bonfires will know).   

       Earth damping sounds like a great idea, but I would think this would run into difficulties in many cases.   

       In some, the fire is actually wind-driven and leaping tree-top to tree-top, and there ain't much you can do to stop it (in those cases, you just need to get right out of the way, and build your fire breaks well down wind).   

       In some areas, the ground is rocky, except for thin layers of soil full of combustible materials (throwing pine needles on a fire would be really, really counterproductive). And in other areas, it's going to be so riddled with rocks and stones that your soil hurler is going to get constantly jammed.   

       But equally, there are probably many places where this would be practical, so croissant.
DrCurry, Jul 25 2004

Get building, I could use three or so before the month is out.

       [+] i think this idea should be pursued further. there would be 2 situations - dry mud/dust slinging when water is not available. This would help to some extent. But in other case when water is available, slurry can be made & sprayed leading to very obvious 2fold effect (i don't know but probably this is the basis of any fire fighting system)- fire quenching/ intensity reduction by water and insulation by layer of soil/mud to cut off oxygen supply even after water vanishes due to evaporation.
vedarshi, Jul 26 2004

       [scout] selective bombing is a good idea. the dust would not be flammable but it also may not be able to completely extinguish fire. there may be simmering fire inside which can grow again. water would help quench the fire.
vedarshi, Jul 27 2004

       I wonder if simply slinging enough material would put out a flame by the same method as hitting it with a spade?
I'm thinking about the tree-top flames.
Ling, Jul 27 2004

       it can be a good exercise probably for chemical engineers. a suitable endothermic process involving cheap & abundant reactants may be identified. build fire resistant cages & ropeways. as the cages filled with reactants & fitted with temperature sensors pass over burning tree tops, there would be heat absorption which would not only help reduce or kill fire but also give some useful product. the temperature sensors would help decide residence time of individual cage over location of fire.
vedarshi, Jul 27 2004

       Some low-grade soil would be good for fire supression, but a higher-grade topsoil will be chockfull of carbon, and thus be very counterproductive.
Madai, Jul 27 2004

       poor sods
blammo, Oct 06 2004


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