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TetraKO Case Study 13: Falls County, Texas Hay Bale Fire Knocked Down

Less than one week after knocking down and extinguishing a seven to10-acre grass fire single-handedly with TetraKO and 100 - 150 gallons of mixed solution, Assistant Fire Chief Keith Kuzniarek responds to a mutual aid request from a neighboring department on a fire consuming 122 round bales of hay. The first responding department uses an initial 5,000 gallons of water and leaves the scene to refill. When they return, Kuzniarek uses his brush truck and 300 gallons of TetraKO, mixed at a .2% solution, to knock out the fire on the outside of the bales. Firefighters then use a spear and the second load of water to soak the inside of the bales.

I tested TetraKO on the day it was first mixed into our tank. I discharged it at this fire department pickup truck tailgate that was sitting in direct sun. It was there for over two hours with a temperature of 106 degrees and no wind. The TetraKO stayed put; it never dissipated or anything. You do the same thing with foam and it’s gone within ten minutes. This really got my attention.

After our grass fire response, (NOTE: See TetraKO Case Study 12) where we used about 150 gallons from our 300-gallon brush truck, we refilled the brush truck with plain water. Since we started with .4% TetraKO, I figured it was closer to .2% at this point.

We then had a fire with 122 round bales of hay last Saturday night. We were a mutual aid department to that fire. The first responding department brought out 5,000 gallons of water and they used that up. They went back and refilled, and when they returned I told them, ‘We’ve got this TetraKO and let’s go out there and try it.’ I used the TetraKO on the lowest gpm setting and adjusted the nozzle to a semi fog pattern. We used the entire 300 gallon tank of TetraKO mixed at .2% on those bales, and it knocked out the fire on the outside of the bales. Firefighters from the first responding department went back with a spear and another load of water and soaked the inside of the bales.

I mean, they used 5,000 gallons of water on those bales and they kept reigniting – and we hit them once with 300 gallons of TetraKO on these 122 bales of hay and they never flared back up. No problems knocking it out. We didn’t have any issues or problems with cleanup of the hoses or nozzles.

I wish I had taken photos. When you get the call, you forget everything else. I’m going to try and keep a camera in the truck. If I get any more fires, I’ll be sure to get a hold of you. I’m going to refill the brush truck tomorrow!

Keith Kuzniarek, Assistant Fire Chief, Reagan Volunteer Fire Department