December 03, 2021, 07:44:55 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: how did they start the fire  (Read 2712 times)

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February 26, 2021, 01:40:09 PM
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tenne

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I have done a lot of sitting around a fire in the snow, after skiing, tobogganing, snow machining and it isn't easy to start a fire in the middle of the night with just matches? lighter?

According to the script, they left the tent in such a hurry that they didn't get dressed. But they managed to get their hands on sharp knives to both cut the tent and cut wood and grab matches (or a lighter)

Green wood does not burn, they had to find dry wood in the dark and snow and get it lit, not an easy task without an accelerant.

Any thoughts on how they did it?
 

February 26, 2021, 01:55:07 PM
Reply #1
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Nigel Evans


The rescuers commented that there were a lot of spent matches around the campfire so doesn't sound like they found it an easy task.
 

February 26, 2021, 01:58:18 PM
Reply #2

tenne

Guest
when we light a winter fire, we use a lot of accelerant. Green wood doesn't burn, wet wood doesn't burn. The only way to tell the difference on cedar is to snap the branches, if it breaks it will burn. So in the middle of the night, with frozen hands they not only managed to light matches, which isn't easy with cold hands, but also find wood. I just find that very strange
 

February 26, 2021, 02:13:11 PM
Reply #3
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Manti


I think they had matches on them at all times (in pockets) as a precaution. Same with knives.

And "middle of the night" is just an assumption. I am beginning to question more of the widely accepted "facts" about the case and timing is one of these. The whole thing might have happened before sunset or in the morning. Of course there are the flashlights that were found which does hint at them venturing out at night.

But I absolutely agree it must have been a very difficult task, also because if the fire is successful the snow below/around melts, and the rest of the firewood is now sitting in a puddle so the fire on its own would kind of put itself out.
 

February 26, 2021, 03:08:59 PM
Reply #4

tenne

Guest
no, it doesn't put itself out if it is kept going, the heat of the fire evaporates the water. Making smores is a big thing here in the winter
 

February 26, 2021, 05:00:19 PM
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
when we light a winter fire, we use a lot of accelerant. Green wood doesn't burn, wet wood doesn't burn. The only way to tell the difference on cedar is to snap the branches, if it breaks it will burn. So in the middle of the night, with frozen hands they not only managed to light matches, which isn't easy with cold hands, but also find wood. I just find that very strange

Very Strange ! ?  Their hands showed signs of Frostbite etc. The Fire was probably alight for at least an hour. At least one of the Dyatlov Group had climbed the Cedar Tree.
DB
 

February 26, 2021, 05:03:50 PM
Reply #6

tenne

Guest
Yes, it is very strange. which is why I think it was faked. When the facts don't match the scene, one or the other is wrong. There was a fire, that seems to be a fact, so my conclusion is they didn't start it. I am open to idea on how it got started but having done winter camping, it isn't as easy as lighting one in the summer, in the daytime, with accelerant
 

February 26, 2021, 05:15:01 PM
Reply #7
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Manti


I have never used "accelerant" but yes if the wood is living or wet, it's almost impossible to ignite. Wax from a candle can help but they didn't have candles. They had newspaper though which might help at the start, but still, must have been very hard. I don't think it would have been impossible because they managed to start fires on previous evenings as well.
 

February 26, 2021, 05:16:57 PM
Reply #8

tenne

Guest
Yes, but those fires were planned, I'm sure they had kindling with them, newspaper etc and some dry wood to catch once it was lit. Making a fire under those circumstances isn't as hard, but the accelerant helps (and is fun)
 

February 27, 2021, 10:50:25 AM
Reply #9
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Nigel Evans


Yes, it is very strange. which is why I think it was faked. When the facts don't match the scene, one or the other is wrong. There was a fire, that seems to be a fact, so my conclusion is they didn't start it. I am open to idea on how it got started but having done winter camping, it isn't as easy as lighting one in the summer, in the daytime, with accelerant


According to my googling North American cedar isn't actually cedar at all but of the Cypress family. Proper cedar is Mediterranean only don't know about North Asian cedar. If anyone could light a fire it would be Semyon.
 

February 27, 2021, 12:48:15 PM
Reply #10

tenne

Guest
I am not sure he could start a fire in those conditions so I am trying to see how it could be done. Saying he could do it isn't saying how he did it or if he did it, it is merely repeating the evidence that someone at sometime lit the fire.
 

February 27, 2021, 01:00:28 PM
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Yes, it is very strange. which is why I think it was faked. When the facts don't match the scene, one or the other is wrong. There was a fire, that seems to be a fact, so my conclusion is they didn't start it. I am open to idea on how it got started but having done winter camping, it isn't as easy as lighting one in the summer, in the daytime, with accelerant

Any one with outdoor skills like the Dyatlov Group had would be able to light a Fire. It may take a few matches to do so.
DB
 

February 27, 2021, 01:14:16 PM
Reply #12

tenne

Guest
I give up, obviously saying they could do it explains how they were able to to everyone but me.
 

February 27, 2021, 01:32:28 PM
Reply #13
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Nigel Evans


You've got to find dead branches that haven't landed on the ground but have landed on branches below and air dried? That and a knife gives you shavings and small kindling. Plus we don't know they didn't have paper?
 

February 27, 2021, 05:22:50 PM
Reply #14
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Manti


We know they had paper with them eg. Semyon's newspaper and notebook, we don't know if they used it but I would guess so.


Also why only dead branches that didn't land on the ground? I would expect there to be some dead branches on top or at least poking out of snow as well. The area would have snow cover since October or November.

But is the remains of a fire even visible on any of the photographs? The Yuris are said to have been found near the fire but it's not in the photos... was it found under snow and not properly photographed? Is it just a rumour?
 

February 28, 2021, 01:55:11 AM
Reply #15
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Nigel Evans


The driest dead branches will be hanging in the air.
This is your fire after more snowfall :-


 
 

March 03, 2021, 12:50:58 PM
Reply #16

tenne

Guest
I was talking to an old trapper about this case and he said that back then he, they, used much larger matches, we call them fireplace matches now. and they could strike off almost anything and were really big so not only would frozen hands be able to use them (if that is what they had) but the matches are also big enough to be used as kindling
 

March 03, 2021, 02:52:48 PM
Reply #17
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sarapuk

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I was talking to an old trapper about this case and he said that back then he, they, used much larger matches, we call them fireplace matches now. and they could strike off almost anything and were really big so not only would frozen hands be able to use them (if that is what they had) but the matches are also big enough to be used as kindling

Good point. Any photos of Russian matches from 1959  ! ? Presumably they were made in Russia ! ?
DB
 

March 03, 2021, 03:21:24 PM
Reply #18

tenne

Guest
I am not sure of the rules here for posting from etsy etc but if you goggle 1959 sulphur matches russia it shows the old wooden matches. Not as long as the fireplace ones but certainly thicker and stronger than the matchbook type.
 

March 03, 2021, 04:34:27 PM
Reply #19
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient

Russia was manufactoring Matches in the 19th century and the Soviet Union expanded production. Matches were made for all eventualities. There were even Hunting Matches and Survival Matches designed for extreme climates like Siberia.

https://soviet-art.ru/ussr-matchbox-labels/
DB
 

March 03, 2021, 05:16:19 PM
Reply #20
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KFinn



Russia was manufactoring Matches in the 19th century and the Soviet Union expanded production. Matches were made for all eventualities. There were even Hunting Matches and Survival Matches designed for extreme climates like Siberia.

https://soviet-art.ru/ussr-matchbox-labels/

Now that my made cold geeky heart very warm and fuzzy.  That's really neat!!! 
-Ren
 

March 03, 2021, 05:54:36 PM
Reply #21

tenne

Guest

Russia was manufactoring Matches in the 19th century and the Soviet Union expanded production. Matches were made for all eventualities. There were even Hunting Matches and Survival Matches designed for extreme climates like Siberia.

https://soviet-art.ru/ussr-matchbox-labels/

Those boxes were so pretty and useful. I had totally forgotten about boxed matches. good memory for about 2 seconds
 

March 04, 2021, 01:39:02 PM
Reply #22
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KFinn


I'm not certain how relevant this is regarding the actual fire start, as they are using the strike method and they do have char clothe.  However, they are also gathering tinder and firewood from trees round them.  Its obviously not nearly as cold as what the Dyatlov group probably encountered; these guys are not wearing mittens and are hiking in leather ankle boots, winningas and probably naalbind or wool felt socks.  This is not our crew but was recently posted in the Viking Hiking group I'm associated with.  The beginning is a wee bit dry as they are walking for a while, lol.  But one thing I have wondered about; there were remnants of clothing and socks around the fire at the cedar.  I wonder if they used some of the fabric from their clothes as part of trying to get it to catch.  Anyhoo, I don't know if it will add anything valuable to the discussion or not but having this thread in the forefront of my mind when I saw the link posted, I thought I'd share. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=loURd-NLfvw&feature=youtu.be
-Ren
 

March 04, 2021, 05:47:04 PM
Reply #23
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
I'm not certain how relevant this is regarding the actual fire start, as they are using the strike method and they do have char clothe.  However, they are also gathering tinder and firewood from trees round them.  Its obviously not nearly as cold as what the Dyatlov group probably encountered; these guys are not wearing mittens and are hiking in leather ankle boots, winningas and probably naalbind or wool felt socks.  This is not our crew but was recently posted in the Viking Hiking group I'm associated with.  The beginning is a wee bit dry as they are walking for a while, lol.  But one thing I have wondered about; there were remnants of clothing and socks around the fire at the cedar.  I wonder if they used some of the fabric from their clothes as part of trying to get it to catch.  Anyhoo, I don't know if it will add anything valuable to the discussion or not but having this thread in the forefront of my mind when I saw the link posted, I thought I'd share. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=loURd-NLfvw&feature=youtu.be

Very interesting. What strikes me most is the fact that they are getting all the wood that they need from near ground level. Dyatlov Group members climbed a Tree and injured themselves in the process.
DB
 

March 04, 2021, 05:54:04 PM
Reply #24
Offline

KFinn


I'm not certain how relevant this is regarding the actual fire start, as they are using the strike method and they do have char clothe.  However, they are also gathering tinder and firewood from trees round them.  Its obviously not nearly as cold as what the Dyatlov group probably encountered; these guys are not wearing mittens and are hiking in leather ankle boots, winningas and probably naalbind or wool felt socks.  This is not our crew but was recently posted in the Viking Hiking group I'm associated with.  The beginning is a wee bit dry as they are walking for a while, lol.  But one thing I have wondered about; there were remnants of clothing and socks around the fire at the cedar.  I wonder if they used some of the fabric from their clothes as part of trying to get it to catch.  Anyhoo, I don't know if it will add anything valuable to the discussion or not but having this thread in the forefront of my mind when I saw the link posted, I thought I'd share. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=loURd-NLfvw&feature=youtu.be

Very interesting. What strikes me most is the fact that they are getting all the wood that they need from near ground level. Dyatlov Group members climbed a Tree and injured themselves in the process.

It does lead one back to that question, if climbing the tree was motivated by the need for wood or for another purpose.
-Ren
 

March 04, 2021, 06:53:52 PM
Reply #25
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ash73


Bear in mind they were starting a fire in the dead of night, no Moon, no lantern. They could be surrounded by dry firewood and wouldn't see it.

I guess once they started a fire they could create torches, but until then it would be pitch black.

They might have carried a bundle of wood from the tent to the cedar, it doesn't make any sense for there to be none up there.
 

March 04, 2021, 06:59:42 PM
Reply #26
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KFinn


Bear in mind they were starting a fire in the dead of night, no Moon, no lantern. They could be surrounded by dry firewood and wouldn't see it.

I guess once they started a fire they could create torches, but until then it would be pitch black.

They might have carried a bundle of wood from the tent to the cedar, it doesn't make any sense for there to be none up there.

And they were doing this with hands that were quite possibly less coordinated from frostbite and/or cold.  That definitely can complicate things when your hands are not as agile and nimble as normal. 
-Ren
 

March 05, 2021, 05:42:59 AM
Reply #27

tenne

Guest
Bear in mind they were starting a fire in the dead of night, no Moon, no lantern. They could be surrounded by dry firewood and wouldn't see it.

I guess once they started a fire they could create torches, but until then it would be pitch black.

They might have carried a bundle of wood from the tent to the cedar, it doesn't make any sense for there to be none up there.

That is possible but I would think if you have the presence of mind to grab wood, they would grab shoes and clothes
 

March 05, 2021, 06:04:48 AM
Reply #28
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ash73


Bear in mind they were starting a fire in the dead of night, no Moon, no lantern. They could be surrounded by dry firewood and wouldn't see it.

I guess once they started a fire they could create torches, but until then it would be pitch black.

They might have carried a bundle of wood from the tent to the cedar, it doesn't make any sense for there to be none up there.

That is possible but I would think if you have the presence of mind to grab wood, they would grab shoes and clothes

Maybe the logs were stored outside the tent, so they could grab them... whereas something was preventing them taking clothes from inside.

Just a random idea I had, based on them needing lots more wood the next few days.
 

March 05, 2021, 11:36:51 AM
Reply #29
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
I'm not certain how relevant this is regarding the actual fire start, as they are using the strike method and they do have char clothe.  However, they are also gathering tinder and firewood from trees round them.  Its obviously not nearly as cold as what the Dyatlov group probably encountered; these guys are not wearing mittens and are hiking in leather ankle boots, winningas and probably naalbind or wool felt socks.  This is not our crew but was recently posted in the Viking Hiking group I'm associated with.  The beginning is a wee bit dry as they are walking for a while, lol.  But one thing I have wondered about; there were remnants of clothing and socks around the fire at the cedar.  I wonder if they used some of the fabric from their clothes as part of trying to get it to catch.  Anyhoo, I don't know if it will add anything valuable to the discussion or not but having this thread in the forefront of my mind when I saw the link posted, I thought I'd share. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=loURd-NLfvw&feature=youtu.be

Very interesting. What strikes me most is the fact that they are getting all the wood that they need from near ground level. Dyatlov Group members climbed a Tree and injured themselves in the process.

It does lead one back to that question, if climbing the tree was motivated by the need for wood or for another purpose.

Well somewhere in this Forum I have said what I think probably made them climb the Cedar Tree. They climbed because they were probably getting away from something or were scared of something.
DB