Join Date: Nov 2012
Thanked 46 Times in 18 Posts
Another Corelogic job, this was my first month working with them. Actually, they were First American then.
I got into this business because after 9/11, my business went to **** and I needed money. I did repairs and estimates for First American at the time. Julien S calls me, asks me, "you want to make $8000 the easy way?" I didn't even let him finish and I said yes.
Go to Fairplay Co, remove 200 cu yds of ext debris. There is a landfill within 5 miles of the job. At this time in my career, I didn't have that 2nd sense of being able to calculate cubic yards or consider the difference in cubic yard types or even further, to inquire at a landfill if they accepted what I was dumping, can I use a dump trailer, cost etc. I just said hell yes.
So my dad and I drive out to the most desolate god-forsaken dust hills in Colorado about 45 min from the nearest paved road. For those that know Colorado, this was in the middle of the Buffalo between Fairplay and Woodland park. It was winter and the roads were terrible, with up to 2' of snow on the ground. The landfill was really a transfer station, a couple rolloffs that you drove up to and tossed your bags of garbage in, at $10 a bag.
When we found the property, it looked like the person was in the firewood business. My 200 yds (probably more like 600) were all dead tree slash. The pile was the size of a small retail parking lot, about 8 ft high. Pulling out just one branch was difficult because it was snagged within so many other branches. The job was due the next day. The pile of debris was about 100' from the closest I could park my truck and 12 yd trailer. You had to walk through some deep snow to get back and forth.
My dad said what I was thinking, 'too bad we can't burn this?' My dad is a retired accountant who is very conservative. He would sit thru an entire red light at 5am on a deserted road and not ever consider just driving thru the light. But I would...
Not wanting to go to jail, I drive to the fire station nearby and get a permit to burn a fire that can get no bigger than 1 cu yd for $10.
I throw some oil and gasoline on the fire and light it. At first, everything was ok, fire was going along slowly and then the wind started to pickup. I hadn't noticed the barb wire fences choked full of tumbleweeds. This is a high wind area. Gale force winds kick in. I would guess 40 mph. Next thing you know, the entire acre of slash is on fire. We kept backing up and backing up. The wind changed direction and we had a close call of being engulfed in flames. We ran to my truck and the flames were horizontal and just licking my truck and trailer. We moved it another 100 ft away and still it wasn't far enough. The wind changed directions and some lonely pine trees were vaporized in a minute.
After about 4 hours, there wasn't one spec of ash, branch or anything. Just a nice clean hole in the snow where my debris had been. My truck wasn't damaged, it was pretty dirty and I actually think that helped protect it. Amazingly, the police and fire dept hadn't been called. There weren't many neighbors around but still, this was a damn big fire.