Igniting a controlled burn with buckets of diesel

controlled burn Python Hunter, buckets of diesel
Screen grab from the National Geographic Channel video.

Apparently there is a show on the National Geographic Channel called Python HuntersI happened to run across this video from the program, which includes a controlled burn. Their objective was not to kill the large snakes, they said, but to drive them out of the brush, or underground.

If you are familiar with controlled burns or prescribed fires, you will not recognize any of the techniques in this video…. unless you prep your prescribed fires by throwing five gallon buckets of diesel onto the vegetation.

Surprisingly, a representative of the Miami-Dade Fire Department is on scene, probably to reduce the chances of the actors killing themselves. The project may have been surrounded by mostly bare ground — it’s hard to tell — so there might have been little chance of the fire escaping.

python hunter controlled burn
Screen grab from the National Geographic Channel video.

Just to be absolutely clear, definitely do not try this technique. Diesel is not as volatile or explosive as gasoline but what they did, shown in the video, is dangerous. If they had mixed gasoline with the diesel, as is usually done when fueling drip torches for a real prescribed fire, or used straight gasoline, there could have been an explosion when they ignited it, depending on the concentration.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

5 thoughts on “Igniting a controlled burn with buckets of diesel”

  1. I’m particularly impressed with the lack of PPE. The guy tossing the diesel is wearing short. A definite “Situation that shouts WATCH OUT”. Less than clever.

  2. Python hunting is a boring sport so Billy-Bob and clan add some heat to get it going.

  3. What i found funniest was Bill’s search tags “Idiot, lame ass ideas, prescribed fire”

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