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Burns, PHS freshmen build a better bonfire

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Photo by Scott Burns From left, Paonia High School freshmen Dustin Largent, Jesse Burns, David Lozano, Anthony Felice, Sackett Chesnik, Soul Connolly, Jonathan Miller, Jose Pantoja and Clint Putman built this year's Homecoming bonfire, which was designed

When is a bonfire more than just a bonfire? During Homecoming Week, of course.

A little more thought and planning went into Paonia High School's 2015 Homecoming bonfire. The structure was built by members of the PHS class of 2019, including Dustin Largent, Jesse Burns, David Lozano, Anthony Felice, Sackett Chesnik, Soul Connolly, Jonathan Miller, Jose Pantoja and Clint Putman. The project was overseen by "creative consultant" Scott Burns.

Construction began with a tipi-style tripod, said Burns. The tripod structure was stabilized by nailing boards to the base of the poles, resulting in a collapse-resistant frame. The frame was then stuffed with as much cardboard as it could hold, and wood slats were piled around the tipi structure to hold the cardboard in.

The theory, said Burns, is that the cardboard burns faster than wood so that the entire structure burns quickly, with bigger flames, and with more intensity than a typical bonfire.

Photo by Tamie Meck The PHS student body gathers for senior speeches during the annual Homecoming bonfire. This year’s bonfire was designed to burn hotter and more quickly than the typical bonfire.
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