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Brush Pile Burning in the Forest Industry

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

October 14, 2020 | Authors: The Forteck Team


Curated information is derived from a combination of Forteck crew members with first-hand experience and verified online sources or government sites. We work very hard to provide quality educational information relevant to the forestry industry to promote forestry and the great things foresters can do. Please let us know if you find any misinformation and we will correct it immediately. It takes a village to educate! Thank you for reading and working together in further teaching people about forestry. #forestryproud


Pile Burning

Pile burning is a service we offer here at Forteck and there are often a lot of questions about the service itself. In this article, we will explain the day to day life of Pile burning including things to take into consideration when on the job. First things first, when does Pile Burning season start in Alberta? typically starts Nov 1st and is completed prior to Jan 31st each year, which means, Pile burning season is right around the corner! 

Benefits of Pile Burning

When people hear about Pile Burning or see pictures, it's typically assumed that Pile burning is unnecessary, however, there are lots of benefits for Pile Burning and we're proud to offer this safe service here at Forteck. Some benefits include: 

  • Site remediation

  • Slash disposal

  • Wildfire risk reduction

A Typical Day

  • 6:45 am: Wake up

  • 7:30 am: Parking lot tailgate meeting, Leave hotel crew house or camp, in pickup loaded with ATVs and or Snowmobiles depending on snow depth/terrain. The ideal setup includes an enclosed trailer with all required safety gear, supplies and burning tools, (Propone, Drip torches, or other).

  • 8:30 am: Tailgate meeting/equipment inspection. Unload at staging near the block and travel on ATV / snowmobile to the block.

  • 9:00 am Start Pile Burning following standard operating procedures (sop’s), move from block to block, stay in communication with the rest of crew via radio, phone or satellite communication device.

  • 4:30 pm: Stop pile burning head back to the truck

  • 5:00 pm: meet at the truck, prep machines for the next day then travel to accommodations.

  • 6:00 pm: Fuel up pickup, and restock burning fuel or propane

  • 7:00 pm: Supper, shower

  • 8:00 pm: Complete nightly reporting on the day, upload data from the past day and pre-plan for the next day.

  • 9:30 pm: sleep so rested for the next physically demanding day

Things to Consider when on the Job

Now, it's no secret that Pile Burning requires a significant amount of safety protocols to keep our crews out of harms way. Below is a list of things we consider when showing up on site to ensure that we are as safe as possible: 

  • Weather forecast

  • Snow levels

  • Temperature

  • Relative humidity

  • Wind speed

  • Access

  • Logistics

  • Smoke/venting 

  • Nearby workers, equipment, communities or infrastructure

  • Nearby logging operations or log decks

  • Hunters in the area

Methods of Payment Typically Include:

  • Rate per cubic meter of timber harvested

  • Rate per hectare of Cutblock area

  • Rate per pile

  • Rate per hour

  • Rate per day

For a free project estimate email

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