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A fire is a rapid, self-sustaining oxidation process of combustible gases ejected from a fuel. It starts by subjecting the fuel to heat or another energy source, e.g. a match or lighter, and is sustained by the further release of heat energy. Controlling fire was one of humankind's first great achievements and made possible migration to colder climes which otherwise would have remained out of reach for colonization.

Fires and burning have often been used in religious sacrifices, as the smoke of the fire disperses into the heavens. Fire is one of the four classical elements, as well as one of the five Chinese elements.

The burning of wood is often the first association to the word fire, and trees have since ancient times supplied much of the energy needed by humans. In the past, metal smelting and charcoal production consumed large quantities of wood for their production. Nowadays, large scale energy is usually not produced by fires of burning wood, but has been replaced by hydrocarbon oil and coal, and in some cases nuclear energy or renewable energy sources. Wood burning remains a heat source in third world countries and where other sources of energy are unavailable.

The Fire Tetrahedron

There are four elements that maintain the combustion process, and the absence of any one of them will prevent a fire. The removal of these elements is the job of firefighters.

See also: campfire, List of historic fires, fire hydrant, smoking

External links

Fire can also refer to a Instant messaging client for Mac OS X. See Fire (software).

FIRE can also refer to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education a civil liberties organization.

Fire is a 1996 movie by Deepa Mehta starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das and music composed by A.R. Rahman.