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How to Use Kerosene to Burn Brush

Jackie Johnson

Using kerosene to start a fire to burn away brush has some benefits because kerosene starts the brush on fire quickly. However, when using any flammable liquid to burn dry materials such as dead weeds and brush, you must take great care to avoid creating a more serious fire that can burn down structures or spread to other people's property. Many jurisdictions require a burning permit for outdoor fires and may not allow using flammables, like kerosene, to start a fire because of the dangers associated with them.

  1. Contact your local fire department. Ask if you can burn brush in your area. Obtain a permit to burn, if necessary.

  2. Ask the fire department if it assists the public with burning brush. Sometimes a fire department provides this service as practice for its firefighters in executing controlled burns and putting out fires that get out of control.

  3. Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover any losses for burning brush on your own property in case a building or a neighbor's property is damaged.

  4. Rake the brush into a manageable pile and hose the ground around it with plenty of water in case embers travel. Wait to burn until the weather is calm, cool and humid.

  5. Sprinkle some kerosene in a small place near the bottom of the brush pile and light it immediately with a long match. Kerosene vapors will explode, but unlike gasoline, kerosene burns more slowly.

  6. Monitor the brushfire carefully. Equip several assistants with shovels and rakes in case the fire gets out of control.

  7. Verify that the fire and the coals are completely extinguished before leaving the area.