How Do You Control Fire?

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Controlling fire is largely about preventing its spread and chiefly involves keeping flammable objects at an appropriate distance. Knowing how material responds to fire is also important, and having the right fuel is essential for keeping a fire burning well.

Starting a fire can be difficult. Once it is burning, however, it continues to do so as long as it has a sufficient supply of fuel. Most fire-related emergencies happen when something accidentally catches fire. A tree branch that comes too close to a fire, for example, can cause the fire to become uncontrollable.

A common mistake made by campers is putting something on the fire without anticipating the fire's response. Paper sometimes catches fire and floats away; if it lands on dried leaves, it can start a forest fire. In general, the only liquid that should be placed on a fire is water if the goal is to extinguish it. Flammable liquids can be dangerous, and not all liquids respond in the same manner.

Controlling a fire also requires giving it the right fuel to keep it burning. While large pieces of wood make for good campfire material, they require a significant amount of heat. Having smaller pieces of wood to get the fire burning is essential for creating a controllable fire.