Fuel Mixtures for Drip Torches

Prescribed Fire March 08, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Drip torches are a great tool to light prescribed fires. They are relatively light and they allow a person to be more mobile than with many propane torches. 

Mixing Drip Torch Fuel

Drip torch fuel is a mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline. Gasoline helps carry the flame from the drip torch to the ground, diesel fuel provides a longer, residual burn time.

When mixing fuel in drip torches, use 50% diesel fuel to 50% gasoline, in average (mild) temperatures. When temperatures are hotter, bump up the ratio to 60:40 or in very hot conditions, 70:30. This is done because when temperatures are high, gasoline tends to flare-up or burn too quickly, so increasing the ration of diesel fuel helps to keep the flame lit longer and reduce flareups.

When lighting at a fast pace such as from a vehicle, use a higher diesel mixture as well. This will make sure the flame is continuous. When in doubt, use slightly more diesel rich mix.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.