Post-fire Report

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I just got back from 2 weeks in the desert (for Burning Man) and realized I never posted the “all clear” post, so here it is. My property was spared from the fire, though just barely. The picture above was taken just a few hundred yards from my property fence (and there was a spot fire just 50 yards from my fence), and when you consider that the fire started 5 miles away and burned 50,000 acres, that’s nothing short of a miracle (well, and firefighters doing a great job).

In the aftermath of this close call, I decided to invest in an Oregon 40V battery-powered chainsaw so I can clear more/bigger brush faster than I currently can with my 18V reciprocating saw. I’ve also been thinking about thinning out my pine trees to help them grow bigger and stronger, especially given current drought conditions. Normally, periodic natural fires would do the thinning, but I think that responsibility falls on me at this point.

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I’ve so far only used the chainsaw for one afternoon, but I’m pretty happy with it. The biggest piece I cut was a 9″ diameter fallen pine log, which it cut just fine. I also got a spare 4Ah/144Wh battery, and had no trouble keeping the chainsaw powered, though I also wasn’t using it constantly since I used my reciprocating saw for small branches. One advantage of an electric chainsaw is that it’s easy to start up, and it’s super quiet, which also makes it less scary to operate. Also, for sporadic use, it’s also nice that you don’t have to choose between idling a gas engine or stopping it and having to start it back up constantly. The biggest downside is cost: the chainsaw with two 4Ah batteries set me back $650. I decided it was worth it because I care a lot about not having tools that depend on gas, but for others, that might not be enough of a reason. It’s also somewhat underpowered if you actually plan on cutting down trees bigger than ~10″ in diameter. I’m also hoping to eventually mill my own lumber, and for that, I might get a corded electric chainsaw that I can run directly off my solar-battery array through an inverter.

7 thoughts on “Post-fire Report

  1. Wow, that is really close and have to say you’re indeed lucky the fire fighters were able to hold off the fire from your property line!

    Glad you followed up with the aftermath. Nice review on the electric chain saw too.

    How long does it take to recharge one battery to full? One day I hope to make it out to burning man hope you had fun and if there are pictures you wish to share that would be great to see.

    Teken

  2. That first photo had me worried too, I thought it was the remains of your cabin – my heart sank. Glad on reading the rest of the article that everything worked out fine. I’ve got a corded electric chainsaw that I run from my 230V (standard outlet power in Europe) inverter solar system, and find it is so much easier (with the exception of needing a long cord) than using my gas powered chainsaw. We dont yet have the larger rechargeable saws here in the UK yet, so I am a little jealous of your new toy. As others have said here, a set of chaps is priceless – especially a long way away from help and medical attention. I’ll hopefully be sending some more business your way via Bootstrap Solar in the next few weeks, so invest the profits wisely!

  3. Althought it is not green, and requires fuel … get a 20″ Husqvarna, and sell those electric toys ( and yes, Husqvarna does make an electric, if you absolutely insist on that ).

    Those Oregon things are barely suitable for home and garden work.

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