4WDmonthly Burning Spinnifex article

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 19:37
ThreadID: 41545 Views:2426 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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Read this article in the new issue (No 103 page 117) and it is
a bit of an eye opener and well worth the read.

Its a more detailed account of the burning of that Prado recently
on CSR.
(Maybe someone can remember the exploroz post number and tell us)

Unlike my expectation the people concerned were quite experienced,
well equipped and had a reasonable time in which to put out the fire
however it couldn't be put out.

Some key points

1/ Car checked twice daily and cleared.

2/ Fire noticed early and hit with extinguisher which stopped the

3/ Fire kept re-igniting from hot resin.

4/ Efforts of people with 3 extinguishers, water and even the beer
couldn't stop it from gaining hold and destroying car over a 25 minute period.

5/ Authorities say that your average car extinguisher isn't much good
under car as it doesn't work properly when on its side.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Exploder - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:19

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:19
Yeah you need one of those 8 litre Lawn/ garden Poison pressure sprayers that you can fill with water and then pump it up and jam the hose under there and give it a gut full of water.
AnswerID: 217327

Reply By: rolande- Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:46

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:46
G'Day Robin,

When shopping for an extinguisher, was advised by a CHUBB fire safety guy to only purchase an extinguisher with a flexible hose, that way you get full use out of the bottle and can direct it to where it is required.

I ended up getting a 2kg with a bracket to fit the back of the wagon.

They are better stored laying down then upright as it prevents the powder from settling on the bottom


AnswerID: 217338

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:51

Then does'nt it just settle on the side???? I think you need to give it a damn good shake every so often no matter which way you store it :))))
FollowupID: 477790

Follow Up By: Robin - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:10
Hi Rolande

Don't know much about the subject , but flexible hose sounds good.

The article said there was no real good solution just yet but they were working on an idea for a future mag.

I think I must have got it right though by default.

I have two little ones about 1/2 kg each I think and they are not very tall and could work upright under the car.

Robin Miller
FollowupID: 477802

Follow Up By: rolande- Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:13

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:13
G'Day Gramps,

I'll just pass on the info I was given.

When storing upright, the vibrations of the vehicle together with the small diametre on the inside of the extinguisher, can over time cause the contents to settle and so need a shake prior to use. If you store it laying down the movement of the vehicle around corners, etc, can allow the powder to flow from end to end, thus having far less opportunity to settle. When you pick the extinguisher up in one hand, with the hose in the other, you then get full value out of the contents while directing the hose precisely where you want it to go. This includes under bonnets without having to open the bonnet entirely, and under vehicles without having to lay the extinguisher on its side and risk blocking the outlet.


FollowupID: 477898

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 15:26

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 15:26

Well I'll be ........ that makes sense. Thanks for the followup. Looks like I can leave mine laying flat under the seat after all :)))
FollowupID: 477945

Reply By: Member - jeff M (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:19

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:19
Yeah I read that today as well Robin , nice 4b and holiday stuffed.
Maybe not having chassis rails maybe a good thing when it comes to grasses.
They did all the right things you would think.

How would you feel just watching it all go up after all your attempts to put it out failing, break your bloody heart.

Jeff M. (SA)
AnswerID: 217349

Follow Up By: Robin - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:51

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:51
Came far to close to loosing my car at robe when it was 30 days old, when sea closed off both sides of an inlet I was bogged in , so I know it would break my heart to loose car.

Robin Miller
FollowupID: 478000

Reply By: the nugget - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:44

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:44
Clearing out spinnifex twice per day??? Hmmmmm??

Just before I travelled the CSR a Ford Explorer went up in smoke, the stories were they were occcassionally clearing the spinnifex.
When we did the CSR i carried a 5 litre garden pressure sprayer, a piece of wire with one end in the shape of a hook and leather gloves.
the exhaust system on V6 petrol motors are a high risk. The pipes come out from the left & right bank and join together under the body prior to the catalytic converter (approx 400-500 degrees F) then onto the exhaust. There is a valley formed where the pipes run parallel and the spinifex loves it . Depending on how high the spinnifex was dictated as to how often I would clear underneath. The smell of smouldering spinnifex is with you all the time. I was clearing from periods of 15 minutes to an hour. The vehicle just seems to suck it up and it sits above the catalytic converter and begins to smoulder.
The other danger is where you stop to clear it. You need clear ground, the risk being if you stop over small mounds of spinnifex, the smouldering bits drop into that then you could have a fire.
I considered a fire extiguisher, but once you have used it end of story. I found the garden sprayer sufficient plus being able to fill it up again. The pipes also have a protective cover around them which is generally 2 halves bolted together, the spinnifex mounts up between the joins and smoulders in those gaps.
For about 2 months after finishing the CSR we could still smell smouldering spinnifex from the exhaust system.
We passed the Explorer it still had the engel inside blown jerries. It was truly a sad sight and you couldn't help but feel for those people affected.
You just have to be prepared!!! But seriously clearing spinifex 2 times per day???
Hence, I now have diesel.
Happy and safe travelling....Nugget

AnswerID: 217379

Reply By: kimprado - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:59

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:59

I don't want to sound insulting, but refer to Willie's response (41508).

I'm getting a bit sick of the dibble related to this subject.

If you want protection from spinefix do this:

Cable tie a double layer of shade mess to the top of the bull bar. Allow a significant layer to hang in front of the car (almost reaching the grown).

We adopted this during our roo shooting days and never had a problem.

Hope this helps


AnswerID: 217383

Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 23:45

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 23:45
Hi Kim, part of the problem with this topic is that spinefix ain't spinefix, as pointed out before. The rotten stuff is different in the western deserts to the stuff across the beach. (And far more flammable AFAIK). Can be nasty stuff and a real catch for new players. I read somewhere where a chap was badly burnt in a spinefix grassfire in WA, not to be taken lightly. The camels thrive on it. Buggar of a thing to walk through.
So maybe different experiences suggesting different approaches.
What you've suggested, along with the hook on stick and garden sprayer should keep most out of trouble.
FollowupID: 477840

Follow Up By: Robin - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 08:25

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 08:25
I see he has put up a specific post with reccomendations now Kim

I also like the idea others in this post have mentioned of a garden sprayer.

Got to carry the water anyway , so might as well package some of it such that it can be used more effectively

Robin Miller
FollowupID: 477859

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 15:17

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 15:17
I got told there is 20 different kinds. I dunno bout that but walking round the Pillbara certainly I see 2 kinds. Basically there is the stuff on hills and the stuff on flats. The hills stuff is lower and a (bit) softer where as the flats stuff is larger with big spears sticking out. Alot we can walk around but sometimes there is no option and I just walk through it thinking nice thoughts
FollowupID: 477942

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 18:33

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 18:33
Following on from Footloose, it strikes me that the WA deserts are a much greater fire risk than the central deserts.

We also carry a 4litre sprayer - it's main function is as our camp shower - gives a good shower with 1.5 litres of water. I'd wonder how good it would be at putting a fire out though - that mist is pretty fine.

I thought that 4wdmonthly article was very good. There was another 120series Prado burn last year as well - but it was a turbo-diesel.
AnswerID: 217540

Follow Up By: Robin - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:46

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:46
They have me hooked Phil , I want to see what there solution is that they can't talk about just yet ?

Robin Miller

P.S. Maybe there waiting to read exploroz replies !
FollowupID: 477998

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