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GSBN:Firewalls: was Timok's fire

Damn.  Yet another fire, wiping out countless hours of work and love.
My heart sank on reading this.  I'm glad that everyone's physically

Folks, we need to come up with solutions for this.  Not just an
insurance/mutual support system, which would certainly be a huge help
for those who lose their nearly-completed homes, but also suggested
best practices to avoid or minimize the damage from such occurances.

Cob or Clay-slip firewalls within the bale walls come to mind as a
possibility.  Firewalls are typically used to contain fire damage,
and something as simple as a thin section of clay plaster between two
sections of wall may be all it takes to make the difference between a
small fire which is extinguished in time and the complete loss of a

Comments, suggestions?

At 1:46 PM -0400 10/13/06, timok wrote:
hello all,

I have been waiting until I could say something useful but a few of you have
heard and so I just wanted to send this note.

the home I have been working on for more than two years now, and was to be
completed as of today, burned to the ground on the last day of the
International conference. I had made the very hard decision to not come to
the conference in order to finish the home. As some of you who know my work
might guess there was not a part of the structure un- sculpted or uniquely
finished and the irriplacability of the art and nature in the building has
left me in deep unknowing.

the fires cause is unknown but seems to have started from a long running
electrical short in a wood frame wall when a breaker did not trip. the bale
and cob walls kept the fire from spreading to the 40 acres we live on and
the 3000 acre ranch around us. I always new they would protect my home from
the forest but who knew they would protect the forest from my home.

we are still in shock and are trying to asses the way forward. many have
offered help and I don't know yet how to receive it. I will keep you all
informed as there is any clarity and or useful lessons for the straw bale
movement but for now we are trying to nurture our family, who are all
unharmed physically, and find a warm cocoon for the winter to let out all
our insides and see what will reform out of this.

I would love any proceedings that might have come out of the conference. Was
there anything planned in this regard?

but most of all I am sorry I missed my church with so many of my friends and
respected collaborators in the attempt to make living on this planet more

I hope and trust you are all well and inspired,


Bill Christensen
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