Historical information

The origins of the humble handheld driptorch have been lost in time.
They are widely used for ignition in controlled burning operations in forest and grasslands.
The date, origins and manufacturer of this particular model are unknown.
The “Pacific Forester“ with its short central wand and somewhat leaky ball-valve was made by the American Wajax company in the 1940s.
The Pacific Forester is slightly different in design from the more robust and common “Panama” driptorch first manufactured in 1933 and used extensively by Queensland cane farmers.
The Panama is closely related to the current “Firebug” used in Victoria which is manufactured by Rodney Industries in Brisbane.
The fuel is a mixture of petrol and diesel and every FCV District had their own closely-guarded secret formula ... 2:1, 3:1, 1:1, 4:1 or 3:2 ratio.
There was also the choice of 91, 95 or 98 octane petrol mixed with summer or winter diesel. Occasionally some of the old Avgas or Jet-A1 lying around the depot was added with a splash of engine oil to make the mixture stick to the fuel to be ignited.
The fuel mixed also varied between autumn or spring, heathland, mixed forest, or high-intensity slash burns


Early driptorch design

Physical description

Drip torch with handle
Wand has loop and valve. The loop is designed to assist with even flow of fuel which flows out onto the burning head of the wand.
Soldered tin fuel container which holds burner mix.
Gravitational feed of the driptorch allows the unit to drip fire, making it simple and quick to operate.