Monday, July 14, 2008

First burn of the Process Unit delayed

Today, Brayton Fire Training Field’s new prop – Prop No. 31/Process Unit – was planned to be used for training for the first time. It’s the largest live prop on the largest live-fueled fire training facility in the world.

At approximately 3:50 p.m. – literally seconds after the prop was lit – the lightning prediction system sounded at the fire field. The prop was shut down and everyone had to clear the field.

Safety is always the top priority at Brayton and the lightning prediction system is an automatic signal to clear the field.

“There were a lot of people who were here to see the new prop burn,” said Ron Peddy, lead safety official. “But, safety is our most important concern and we can always burn the new prop tomorrow.”

Last Tuesday, more than 700 Spanish firefighters were forced to clear the fire field because of lightning.

At its highest point, the Process Unit stands an amazing 66-feet tall and is a multi-level prop encompassing 21,608 square feet.

The project contains 18 dual-fuel leak points, although not all are lit at once. It can simulate various scenarios such as a process sump fire, truck-loading area fire and various other process unit-related emergency situations.

The first test burn on the new prop, which involved fire field instructors only, was held on June 16.

Check back tomorrow to see video of the new prop burning.

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