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Fire Development: Four Stages

Context

This video shows a fuel-controlled fire with no limitation of oxygen. Note the four stages of fire:

  • Ignition – when heat, oxygen, and fuel combine the result is the chemical reaction that produces fire.
  • Growth – the fuel load will continue to burn because oxygen is available.
  • Full development – if a steady supply of oxygen exists, all combustible materials are ignited and consumed by the fire.
  • Decay – usually the longest stage of a fire. Oxygen, heat, and fuel decrease until the fire goes out.

Some fuels will leave behind evidence such as char, ash, or other chemicals.

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