(1) The pit should be deep enough to allow a minimum depth of 0.6 meter (2 ft) of combustible
material, such as wood, to be placed under the item to be destroyed, and a minimum
distance of 0.3 meter (1 ft) from the item to the top edge of the pit. Deeper pits should be
used for larger quantities of agent, thus permitting additional burning material to be used
and consequently longer and hotter burning. Deeper pits will reduce the fragmentation
hazard from heavy cased ordnance.
(2) The pit must be wide enough to permit the use of a minimum of 1 meter (3 ft) of
combustible material on each side of the items.
NOTE: Gasoline is not recommended for this purpose due to the low flashpoint and the
susceptibility to premature ignition from a small spark.
(3) In order to aid rapid ignition and to assist the combustion, used motor oil, thickened flame
fuel, or diesel fuel should be spread over the combustible material.
(4) Cased munitions must be opened with a small explosive charge simultaneously with the
ignition of the burning pit. This is done to permit a slow release of the agent into the flame.
If the munition is not opened or vented, a mechanical explosion (due to the buildup of agent
pressure) may occur, resulting in a sudden release of the agent and incomplete destruction
of the toxic properties by the fire. The major consideration is to open the munition with a
small puncturing charge that will not propel the munition out of the burning pit and to
release the smallest amount of agent possible until the pit is completely ignited and high
(5) The venting charge must be arranged so as to avoid a high order detonation of the burster.
(6) The explosive venting charge detonation and pit ignition must be done simultaneously and
remotely. Gasoline in small, closed containers (plastic jugs or metal cans) exposed in the
pit will provide an excellent means of assuring rapid and complete ignition. These are
easily assembled and can be integrated with the explosive train used to open the munition.
Three or four igniters of this type should be incorporated in the burning pit. The fireball
created by these igniters will help to destroy any agent released by the venting charge.
Glass bottles should not be used as containers for the gasoline. They may break if dropped
and the broken glass will be a hazard to protective footwear.