A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 07, 2011
Gasoline-on-a-Stick (Texas trees and wildfires)

Texas trees have been called “gasoline-on-a-stick” because of the potential of trees to spread wildfires. In 2011, cedar trees in central Texas were dubbed “gasoline-on-a-stick” and were proposed to be replaced with oak and other varieties of trees.

The term “gasoline on a stick” for trees has been cited in print since at least 1985.


20 May 1985, Christian Science Monitor, “Volunteers rally to help battle Florida’s dry weather blazes” by Robert M. Press, pg. 5:
The pine trees in the development became like “gasoline on a stick,” said one fireman standing near the area of burnedout homes.

Google Groups: alt.politics.gw-bush
Newsgroups: alt.politics.gw-bush
From: (Brandon Skile)
Date: 8 Nov 2003 23:14:39 -0800
Local: Sun, Nov 9 2003 2:14 am
Subject: (CA fire) Areas ‘disaster waiting to happen’

Posted 11/2/2003 10:07 PM Updated 11/2/2003 11:08 PM
Areas ‘disaster waiting to happen’
By Laura Parker, Tom Kenworthy and Patrick McMahon USA TODAY
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Lance Cross, a U.S. Forest Service fire chief, and his crew of 135 firefighters held back the flames that roared up the slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains last week. Now, he wonders, to what end?
(...)
Bruce Stone, 50, has lived at the lake for 20 years. “I told the mountain people here those dead pine trees are just gasoline on a stick,” he says.

JuneauEmpire.com
Black spruce the bane of firefighters
Gnarled, stunted outcast of the plant world is called ‘gasoline on a stick’

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2004
By CHRIS TALBOTT
FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER
FAIRBANKS - Firefighters have a name for the black spruce tree, the scourge of Interior Alaska this summer.

“We call it gasoline on a stick,” said Marc Lee, Fairbanks area forester for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Google Groups: Irvin Alumni
From: Betty Hulson
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 15:46:12 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Apr 9 2009 4:46 pm
Subject: Oklahoma’s burning

Lloyd--I’m sure glad we both live in the city! It looks like there are fires all over the place today. With humidity at only 9% and winds gusting to 50mph, it doesn’t look good! It’s been an awfully long time since we have seen humidity so low. The cedar trees up north are bursting into flames—you know they call them “gasoline on a stick!” Betty

Google Books
Natural Hazards and Disasters
By Donald W. Hyndman and David W. Hyndman
Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole
2011
Pg. ?:
As one resident put it, “Those dead pine trees are just gasoline on a stick.” Such beetle-killed trees make for running crown fires that are almost impossible to stop.

Dallas (TX) Morning News
Texas wildfires made worse by changes on the state’s vast landscape, scientists say
By RANDY LEE LOFTIS
Environmental Writer

Published: 30 April 2011 11:07 PM
Scorched Texas is sprouting green. Almost before the embers cooled, nature began its renewal.
(...)
Junipers contain volatile oils that can make them virtually explode when ignited. Because the trees grow together, they form a continuous layer. A spark can start a crown fire that sprints through the treetops at the speed of the wind.

Firefighters have a term for such trees: gasoline on a stick.

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Comments from readers
Updated: 7:11 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
Published: 6:49 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
Trees are fire hazards
In the report about the change in the West Lake Hills tree ordinance, former City Council Member Earl Broussard is quoted saying he does not want to “sacrifice the big, beautiful evergreens” (Oct. 2, “Cedar-removal vote applauded").

Every firefighter — and after the Bastrop fires — every citizen should know that another name for those evergreens is “gasoline on a stick.”

When, not if, a wildfire gets loose in Westlake Hills, thousands of homes will be destroyed. It will make the Bastrop fire look small.

Time for those folks to wake up and do everything they can to create defensible space around every home, even if it means cutting trees.
Neal M. Grolnic
Driftwood

KENS5.com (San Antonio, TX)
‘Gasoline on a stick’? Cedar trees could be on the chopping block in Texas community
by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News
kens5.com
Posted on October 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM
A city council member in the resort community of Horseshoe Bay, about an hour west of Austin has come up with a drastic proposal he is hoping will save the city’s live oaks, save water, and potentially save the area from the sort of devastation we saw in the Bastrop fires.

Councilman Jeff Robinson proposed in Horseshoe Bay’s Council meeting Tuesday night that the city do away with as many cedar trees as possible.

“I went online. A cedar tree takes 33 gallons a day. A live oak tree takes about nineteen.  The fireman I’ve talked to say that when they fight these fires, when a cedar tree catches on fire, it just explodes. As a matter of fact, they refer to it as gasoline on a stick,” said Robinson.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, December 07, 2011 • Permalink