Will Elon Musk’s new flamethrower be useful for firing operations on wildland fires?

Elon Musk has disrupted several industries, including electric cars, solar panels, battery manufacturing, and space launch systems. On Saturday he introduced a flamethrower, and I can’t help but wonder what the significance of this venture will be, or why he was motivated to do this.

In the Instagram video below, he explains that “It is good for roasting nuts”.

Great for roasting nuts ? ?

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The flame appears to be burning gas, rather than a liquid like diesel fuel, kerosene, or gasoline (or a mixture of liquids). The cylinder on top looks like a 14-ounce propane tank.

In a Tweet, he said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms allows flamethrowers with a flame less than 10 feet.

It should start shipping “in the Spring” at a price of $500. Sunday Mr. Musk said there have been 7,000 pre-orders for the 20,000 that are being manufactured. It is sold by the “Boring Company”, an organization Mr. Musk created to construct tunnels under cities to transport cars at 150 mph, avoiding heavy traffic on the surface.

We don’t know if the flamethrower is real, but people thought Mr. Musk was joking when he first proposed the tunnels. They thought the same thing when he said he was going to put his new personal Tesla Roadster on the first test launch of their Falcon Heavy rocket as a demonstration payload. It is typical on test launches of new rockets to put a dummy weighted payload in the cargo bay, but it is usually something fairly worthless like scrap steel. Not a new sports car (playing David Bowie’s Space Oddity) that according to Mr. Musk can accelerate to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and has a top end of 250 mph.

Tesla Roadster launch rocket
Elon Musk says his personal Tesla Roadster has been loaded as a demonstration payload for the first test launch of their new Falcon Heavy Rocket. The rocket was test fired on the launch pad January 24, and the scheduled launch date is February 6.

But getting back to the flamethrower… do you think it will be practical on prescribed fires or wildland fire firing operations, burning out and backfiring?

In this next video, Mr. Musk seems to like the flamethrower.

Don’t do this. Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun.

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