Planet earth is uniue in all the universe for its abundance and variety of animals, every one of which should be protected from fire




A large bonfire is warming and fascinating. The energy released in such a blaxe is significant. On a larger scale, forest fires do a lot of damage and claim the lives of just about all living things in its path.



Humans learned long ago the value of fire to cook food, which increases its calorific value and sterilizes. Fire is just as useful for heating; central heating these days. Dare we say that fire is essential in some geographical regions. We ignite fuels such as petrol for transport. We heat metals to join them. Fire is then a part of modern living and can be extremely dangerous, such as forest fires, or when a house catches alight.


We used fire to create light with candles and oil lamps. Fires were used for long range signaling, before Edison perfected the incandescent filament bulb, now being replaced by high power LEDs.






Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Oxygen is thus the essential ingredient of fire, which when combined with another chemical generates heat.


Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digesting food, while technically the same process, by virtue of the slow speed, are not included in this definition.

A flame is the visible portion of the fire. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alight and any impurities outside, the color of the flame and the fire's intensity will be different.

Fire in its most common form can result in conflagration, which has the potential to cause physical damage through burning. Fire is an important process that affects ecological systems around the globe. The positive effects of fire include stimulating growth and maintaining various ecological systems. 


The negative effects of fire include hazard to life and property, atmospheric pollution, and water contamination. If fire removes protective vegetation, heavy rainfall may lead to an increase in soil erosion by water. Also, when vegetation is burned, the nitrogen it contains is released into the atmosphere, unlike elements such as potassium and phosphorus which remain in the ash and are quickly recycled into the soil. This loss of nitrogen caused by a fire produces a long-term reduction in the fertility of the soil, which only slowly recovers as nitrogen is "fixed" from the atmosphere by lightning and by leguminous plants such as clover.







The ability to control fire was a dramatic change in the habits of early humans. Making fire to generate heat and light made it possible for people to cook food, increasing the variety and availability of nutrients. The heat produced would also help people stay warm in cold weather, enabling them to live in cooler climates. Fire also kept nocturnal predators at bay. Evidence of cooked food is found from 1.9 million years ago, although there is a theory that fire could have been used in a controlled fashion about 1,000,000 years ago. Evidence becomes widespread around 50 to 100 thousand years ago, suggesting regular use from this time; interestingly, resistance to air pollution started to evolve in human populations at a similar point in time. The use of fire became progressively more sophisticated, with its being used to create charcoal and to control wildlife from tens of thousands of years ago.

Fire has also been used for centuries as a method of torture and execution, as evidenced by death by burning as well as torture devices such as the iron boot, which could be filled with water, oil, or even lead and then heated over an open fire to the agony of the wearer.



Forest fires are increasing due to global warming



By the Neolithic Revolution, during the introduction of grain-based agriculture, people all over the world used fire as a tool in landscape management. These fires were typically controlled burns or "cool fires", as opposed to uncontrolled "hot fires", which damage the soil. Hot fires destroy plants and animals, and endanger communities. This is especially a problem in the forests of today where traditional burning is prevented in order to encourage the growth of timber crops. Cool fires are generally conducted in the spring and autumn. They clear undergrowth, burning up biomass that could trigger a hot fire should it get too dense. They provide a greater variety of environments, which encourages game and plant diversity. For humans, they make dense, impassable forests traversable. Another human use for fire in regards to landscape management is its use to clear land for agriculture. 

Slash-and-burn agriculture is still common across much of tropical Africa, Asia and South America. "For small farmers, it is a convenient way to clear overgrown areas and release nutrients from standing vegetation back into the soil," said Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, an ecologist at the Earth Institute’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation. However this useful strategy is also problematic. Growing population, fragmentation of forests and warming climate are making the earth's surface more prone to ever-larger escaped fires. These harm ecosystems and human infrastructure, cause health problems, and send up spirals of carbon and soot that may encourage even more warming of the atmosphere–and thus feed back into more fires. Globally today, as much as 5 million square kilometers – an area more than half the size of the United States – burns in a given year.







A fire department or fire brigade (also known as a fire and rescue service or simply fire service) is a public or private organization that provides predominantly emergency firefighting and rescue services for a certain jurisdiction, which is typically a municipality, county, or fire protection district. A fire department usually contains one or more fire stations within its boundaries, and may be staffed by career firefighters, volunteer firefighters, or a combination thereof (referred to as a combination department).

A fire department may also provide "fire protection" or fire prevention services, whereby firefighters visit homes and give fire safety advice and fit smoke alarms for members of the public. In many countries fire protection or prevention is seen as an important role for the fire service, as preventing a fire from occurring in the first place can save lives and property.

Most public or municipal fire departments also carry out an enforcement role, to ensure that buildings (homes, hotels, offices, factories, and so on) are equipped with adequate fire precautions to limit the chances of fire and ensure that in the event of fire, people can safely evacuate the premises unharmed. This is also part of the protection or prevention role.



US Navy fire training exercise 





London Fire Brigade
169 Union Street

Switchboard is available Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm

Tel: 020 8555 1200 









Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d'Arc, 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (French: La Pucelle d'Orléans), is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. 

On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the allied English-Burgundian faction. She was later handed over to the English, and then put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After being convicted for cross-dressing (for having dressed as a soldier), she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about 19 years of age.

Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France.







We owe a special debt of gratitude to Guy Fawkes, who gave us the celebration of his bungled political gesture, though we're sure many of you might agree that the UK Government cost the British taxpayer so much in wasted running costs, that blowing up the Houses of Parliament might seem like a good idea. Still, any excuse for a bonfire and the cold nights that are typical of November the 5th, are perfect for torch led processions ending with a roaring blaze and fireworks celebrations.


Several Bonfire Societies in Sussex are responsible for the series of bonfire festivals around Sussex along with parts of Surrey and Kent from September - November. These celebrations mark both Guy Fawkes Night and the burning of 17 Protestant martyrs in Lewes' High Street from 1555 to 1557, during the reign of Mary Tudor. Joan of Arc did not suffer this barbaric torture alone - and it makes us wonder how one human being can be so sadistic to another.

The Sussex Bonfire Tradition began as a glorified pub crawl. It was common for workers to go house to house asking the residents for food and alcohol, much as in the Halloween tradition. To avoid repercussions from the home owners, landlords and employers, it was customary to either dress up in costume or to paint their faces black. This way the revelers were free to cause mischief and mayhem without fear of punishment. 


These nights of revelry date back much further into history than Guy Fawkes and it was much later that the existing pagan traditions were appropriated for Christian and political aims. 19th century antiquary Mark Antony Lower is credited with starting the "cult of the Sussex Martyrs" aided by an etching by James Henry Hurdis of Richard Woodman and nine others being burnt.

Richard Woodman (1524?–1557) was a Protestant martyr, who was born in Buxted and lived in nearby Warbleton in East Sussex. He was burnt during the Marian Persecutions in 1557 in Lewes. Having been found guilty of heresy, Woodman was taken to Lewes and burnt in front of the Star Inn (now the Town Hall), together with nine others on 22 June 1557. The nine were George Stevens, Alexander Hosman, William Mainard, Thomasina Wood, Margery Morris, James Morris, Denis Burges, Ann Ashdon and Mary Groves. This was the largest number of people burnt in England at one time and was intended to serve as a warning to others. Human rights did not feature largely in matters of state and religion until after the Second World War, and even then local authorities in England ignored such protections until 2000 when the domestic 1998 Act came into force. 







Southover bonfire society

Lewes Bonfire

cliffe bonfire

Wikipedia Richard_Woodman martyr

Wikipedia Sussex_Bonfire_Societies

lewes bonfire celebrations societies

lewes bonfire council societies

Wikipedia Joan_of_Arc

Fire Service

Wikipedia Fire_department

London Fire Brigade

Wikipedia Fire




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