Fire

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Description or Situation

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Overview

The description for "Fire" is extensively vast and broad covering a wide array of cause and effects. No two fires are alike due to their diversity resulting from types of fuels & material, ... a variation of catalysts involved as well as factors associated with ambient environments. Fire can be used as tool for a variety of good as well as bad intentions. The good and positive uses of fire can provide comfort and innovation when used in a controlled environment. The destructive forces of fire are apparent and often lasting for many years. The appearance of fire can be calming as well as provoke levels of fear beyond expectations. Fire in uncontrolled situations can grow and move at phenomenal and unexpected speeds often taking humans by surprise. Fire can claim lives.

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Real time fire info:   [ USDA Forest Service

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What is fire?

In simple terms that is fairly understood by humans the word fire is applicable as a living breathing entity which consumes and burns without prejudice or concern for life or material. It is a frightening display of power and beauty all rolled into a dance of destruction. Fire has a great many uses despite it's destructive characteristics and reputation however, ...  It is not a toy and if not handled with respect and care can have detrimental effects. Not all fire is visible or easily detectable to the human eye which can result in a surprise attack on life and property. In accordance with definitions provided by Wikipedia fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reactive products. Slower oxidation processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition. At a certain point in the combustion reaction, called the ignition point, flames are produced. The flame is the visible portion of the fire. Flames consist primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alight, and any impurities outside, the color of the flame and the fire's intensity will be different. [Source]

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What causes a fire?

 A fire can be caused by a number of various circumstances. Accidental, intentional, or naturally occurring are reasons for fire.

Accidental: Accidental fires are typically caused as a result of all the required elements for ignition and growth to be present and accounted for despite the implementation of safety measures. This encompasses a large array of circumstance that is best summarized as an unintended situation involving a fuel source, oxygen and the catalysts or ignition.

Intentional: An intentional fire is one that has been set up by a person or person(s) with the intent to cause destruction or harm to people or property.

Naturally occurring: Naturally occurring fires are that which is typically associated with events or circumstances which are the result of nature such as lightening strikes , volcanic activity and the occasional bounce of sunlight off a reflective material such as stagnant water.

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Fires start when a flammable or a combustible material, in combination with a sufficient quantity of an oxidizer such as oxygen gas or another oxygen-rich compound (though non-oxygen oxidizers exist), is exposed to a source of heat or ambient temperature above the flash point for the fuel/oxidizer mix, and is able to sustain a rate of rapid oxidation that produces a chain reaction. This is commonly called the fire tetrahedron. Fire cannot exist without all of these elements in place and in the right proportions. For example, a flammable liquid will start burning only if the fuel and oxygen are in the right proportions. Some fuel-oxygen mixes may require a catalyst, a substance that is not consumed, when added, in any chemical reaction during combustion, but which enables the reactants into combustion more readily.

Once ignited, a chain reaction must take place whereby fires can sustain their own heat by the further release of heat energy in the process of combustion and may propagate, provided there is a continuous supply of an oxidizer and fuel.

Fire in its most common form can result in conflagration, which has the potential to cause physical damage through burning. Fire is an important process that affects ecological systems around the globe. The positive effects of fire include stimulating growth and maintaining various ecological systems. Fire has been used by humans for cooking, generating heat, light, signaling, and propulsion purposes. The negative effects of fire include hazard to life and property, atmospheric pollution, and water contamination. If fire removes protective vegetation, heavy rainfall may lead to an increase in soil erosion by water. Also, when vegetation is burned, the nitrogen it contains is released into the atmosphere, unlike elements such as potassium and phosphorus which remain in the ash and are quickly recycled into the soil. This loss of nitrogen caused by a fire produces a long-term reduction in the fertility of the soil, which only slowly recovers as nitrogen is "fixed" from the atmosphere by lightning and by leguminous plants such as clover[Source]

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The following causes of fire are provided by the National Fire Protection Agency

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  • Appliances & equipment Cooking; heating; washing machines & dryers; air conditioners and fans; and more.
  • Arson and juvenile fire setting Children playing with fire and intentional fires.
  • Candles Causes and trends in home fires involving candles, candle fire frequency in other dwellings, and selected published incident descriptions.
  • Chemical and gases Natural gas and LP-gas home and non-home fires; spontaneous combustion.
  • Electrical Includes home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
  • Fireworks Includes injury patterns and trends, including shares by type of fireworks, based on reports to hospital emergency rooms.
  • Holiday Christmas trees, holiday lights and decorations.
  • Household products Mattresses, bedding and upholstered furniture.
  • Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes Information on incident type, and when and where the incidents occurred.
  • Smoking materials Fires involving smoking materials (i.e., tobacco products), including data from other countries, and what materials are most often ignited. [Source]

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Historical fires

wikipediaAccording to Wikipedia

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  Find  "solutions to fire" 

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Additional References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire

http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes

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