Why Flamethrowers Make Terrible Garden Tools

In just the last month, two Oregon households have learned the hard way why most people don't use propane torches as weed whackers.
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Have you ever wondered why more people don’t use propane torches to do their yard work? You haven’t? Congratulations, your brain is functioning the way a human brain should. If you have wondered that, though, here’s the answer — it’s a really good way to burn down your house. Over the weekend, Oregon fire crews responded to a blaze caused by a man trying to rid his yard of weeds by torching them. For those of you playing along at home, this marks the second time in the last month that Oregon firefighters have had to help put out fires caused by residents working to beat back weeds using a propane torch.

Firefighters were called to put out a fire that damaged the roof of a rented home in Beaverton, Oregon on Sunday after a resident tried to remove the weeds from his yard using a propane torch. The fire comes less than a month after a man in nearby Sherwood, Oregon did severe damage to his family’s home using the same efficient but exceedingly dangerous technique. Both men took the precaution of wetting down the surrounding brush, thereby dropping their acts from a perfect 10 on the Stupid Scale to a more respectable but still very dumb 9.7. You can tell it’s a very dumb thing to do because of how they both caught their houses on fire.

Folks, I can’t believe we have to have this conversation, but apparently we do, so here goes: Flamethrowers are not an acceptable way to battle weeds in your garden. I know as well as anyone that weeding is a hassle, but this is not the way to address the problem. Unless you are fighting some sort of man-eating mutant plant that is actively threatening your family or you are a character in a movie about the Vietnam War, flamethrowers are not an appropriate substitute for a weed whacker.

Okay? Okay. Good talk.

(via KGW, image courtesy of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue)

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