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Life in the old fire yet...

PUBLISHED: 15:04 20 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:04 20 January 2015

Fires built on peat-based soil can burn sideways away from the fire itself

Fires built on peat-based soil can burn sideways away from the fire itself

Archant

I’ve been told that fires lit in forestry blocks can burst back into life long after they’ve been put out. Is this true and what can be done to prevent it?

JONNY CROCKETT replies: This is in fact true but it is extremely rare. Forestry blocks, particularly in Scotland and Wales are often on peat-based soils. Peat is actually used as a fuel so if your fire has burnt down into the peat it can slowly burn sideways away from the fire. This means that when you put the fire out you can miss the bits that have burnt away from the fireplace.

You can stop this by putting a layer of sand or grit down first. After that you can put flat rocks on top of the grit or sand. This should insulate the peat soil below from the heat of the fire. When you break camp or put the fire out, soak the area thoroughly and dig down into the sand and peat below. Keep digging down until the soil below is cold.

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