Forest Fire-Fighting Apparatus
An apparatus has been designed particularly for fighting forest fires along the Pacific coast, and it has been patented (No. 1,585,146) by Earl W. Himberger of Seattle. Wash.; it has been assigned to the Pacific Marine Supply Company of the same city.
To fight fires in that territory it is essential that the apparatus shall be compact and portable and that it shall not catch on the underbrush, and it must be light enough to be carried by one man.
Motor cylinders arranged in opposed pairs are mounted on a light base, at opposite side of the center line of the base. Each pair is suitably coupled by a continuous crank shaft or rigid coupling.
A fly wheel with which may be incorporated the magneto coils, is secured to one end of the crank shaft preferably at the end of the base. Its lower portion is received by a recess in the base to protect it, and its upper end is also protected.
Each cylinder is preferably provided with an individual outwardly-directed exhaust passage to direct the exhaust gases therefrom into the atmosphere. The pump at the opposite end of the base is preferably of the rotary type. It is provided at one side with an intake and at the opposite side with a discharge port arranged for the attachment of hose. A feed water pipe extends to the various cylinders to be passed through the water jackets, and the water after circulating is discharged.
The motor has various projecting parts such as the spark plugs and individual exhaust passages which if left uncovered would tend to catch on the underbrush. To avoid this and to make the device more compact, the fuel supply tank is mounted above the motor. By using a broad shallow tank, it acts as a cover for the entire motor. The center of gravity of the tank is thus brought close to the base.
In order to protect the carburetor, it is positioned within the hollow base. It is supported from the base through an intake manifold which connects to the motor cylinders through the base. Preferably a two-cycle engine is employed, and thus the manifold may lead directly to the crank case of each pair of cylinders. The fuel supply leads directly downward through the carburetor from the tank.
A unit as the one described has been provided which weighs about sixty-five pounds. A woodsman can carry this weight, provided the mass is compact and the center of gravity of the object is close to the man’s back. Thus with the device carried by one man strapped to his back, and another carrying the hose, it is possible to carry this fire apparatus into the densest woods and over rough ground. It is hut a moment to connect the hose, and draft water from the nearest stream.