LESSON 2 - FUNDAMENTALS OF FOREST FIRE CONTROL
2.3 The Fire Triangle
Fire is the simultaneous release of heat, light and flame, generated by the combustion of flammable material. Three elements must be present in order for combustion to take place, by removing one of the elements the process will not occur.
Heat: Heat is required by fuels in order for the combustion process to develop. Not all fuels will react the same to a distinct heat source; therefore, the amount of heat applied and duration of time will then determine combustion (small dry fuels require a low amount of heat for shorter periods of time).
Fuels: Fire requires fuel as a “food source”and cannot burn if this element is not present. Once ignition has occurred, certain fuel characteristics will determine how that fuel will behave.
Applying mineral soil may not remove all the oxygen supply; small amounts of oxygen can be sufficient to support combustion allowing the fire to spread underneath the mineral soil.
Fuel breaks (hose line) will not likely work on high intensity surface fires or during spotting conditions (burning embers carried away from the fire).