Fire

n. A self-perpetuating process of combustion characterized by the emission of heat and accompanied by flame and/or smoke.

 

  • Discussion

 

Fire is distinguished from other forms of combustion in that the fuel supply is controlled by heat from the combustion process itself, resulting in a positive-feedback process in which the combustion of fuel produces heat, and that heat produces more combustible fuel. Consider the following clarifying examples: a propane-fueled barbecue grill produces combustion but not fire because control of the fuel supply is determined by a valve. In contrast, the combustion process in a charcoal grill produces fire because the supply of burnable (gaseous) fuel is controlled by heat produced by the fire itself.

 

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We generally recognize two basic kinds of fire: structure fires and wildland fires.