Great Falls local Nick Brown has been a wildland firefighter for almost three decades. In those 3 decades, Nick has fought many fires. That experience taught him how to mitigate the fuel dangers around structures
For example, all wood waste should be avoided pilling up. These create fire hazards that we need to avoid igniting and spreading.
“Eventually somewhere down the road, it could self-ignite,” Brown said. This is why it is important to handle them as soon as possible. Fire season is now year round in our area and is not isolated to the woods, it can happen in your own backyard.
It was with these concerns in mind that Brown invested in a BurnBoss, a T24 Trailer that allows for control burning of wood debris with minimal smoke admitted into the environment. “It’s not considered open burning. It’s an incinerator.”
The company that produces the machine, AirBurners, has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Core of Engineers, according to its website. The machine uses an air curtain to naturally burn wood. This pollution control device reduces smoke by trapping and reburning smoke particles, reducing them to an EPA-acceptable limit.
“Clean wood waste is loaded into the FireBox, and an accelerant such as diesel fuel is used to ignite the wood waste, just as you would start a campfire or open burn pile,” according to AirBurners. “The air curtain is not engaged until the fire has grown in strength, or the air curtain may blow the fire out.”
“Although the unit can burn at 2,500 to 3,000 degrees, the outside is warm to the touch, which shows how much it contains the heat”, Brown said.
“It burns so hot,” he said. “It’s a clean burn, all you see are heat waves coming off it. It’s literally incinerating everything inside there.”
After completing a burn job, Brown lifts the box and drives the trailer away, leaving behind a pile of ashes, called biochar, that can be used as fertilizer.
“We’re not filling up our landfills,” he said. “We’re putting it back into the ground for fertilizer.” By putting it in landfills it could take up to 50 years to decompose.
In addition to the environmental benefits, Brown's services save people time, as they no longer have to monitor their fires for long periods of time to ensure they don’t spread.
“Your fire permit requires you to be there the whole time with water and fire suppression,” he said. “It can’t reignite; you have to make sure it won’t. It’s your responsibility. With me, I can take care of that, and you don’t have to sit there and worry day and night if it’s out.”
After all, if a burn pile gets out of control, you could be responsible for fire suppression and property loss.
“When these alarms go off, firefighters are coming out day or night,” he said. “When someone didn’t properly control or mop up the fire, and it gets away from them, you’re bringing professional and volunteer firefighters out to extinguish it.”
Brown wants the community to know he’s here to help save time, the environment, and prevent devastating fires.
“I’m trying to offer a service where everybody’s happy, and you don’t have to worry about it,” he said. “It’s a big win-win.”
For more information and to schedule a safe burn on your land, regardless of where you are, visit Nick Brown Wildland on Facebook.
Click video below to see it in action:
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