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How to make a fire

Fire making involves using a source of heat, some kindling and a supply of wood or other flammable materials to burn. The area round the fire should be made safe in order to prevent the fire from spreading, and it should be kept dry to prevent the fire from extinguishing through rainfall.

Kindling

How to make a fire In ancient times, fire-makers often drilled a hole in a piece of wood, inserted a stick and vigorously rotated it, creating friction and heat. Around it, they placed kindling/tinder which is dried grass or twigs, and the wood to be burned. Sometimes, they wound a bow string round the twig and pulled hard back and forth to give extra turning power. Shavings would fall onto the kindling, and as they were set alight by friction, they would eventually ignite the kindling which would set the fire going. The initial heat The key to the process of knowing how to build a fire is finding a source of heat. The traditional method uses friction, but it is also possible to strike a spark by striking flint against flint or against iron/steel. It is important to ensure that the sparks strike the kindling. One source of heat is a magnifying glass which focuses the sun's rays. Kindling Kindling materials [fire starters] must be dry and easily combustible. They set alight quickly with a high intensity flame, and burn themselves out. Their purpose is to set the fire going by creating enough heat to ignite the slower and longer burning wood. Besides dried grass, dead leaves and twigs, dry paper is a very effective kindling, and fire-lighters are designed for this purpose. Serviettes are very effective. Any material containing vegetable oils such as camphor is very useful.

The main fire

Many materials will burn, but dried logs are very good. It is better to split them as this will give a better surface area for combustion. The kindling should be placed under the wood in sufficient quantities to provide lots of heat. Other materials include newspaper logs, specially compressed for the purpose. In Ireland, peat briquettes are much used after being dried for a few months. Knowing how to light a fire involves building a fire pit to prevent the fire from spreading. This can be a hole or a circle of stones. Ensure that combustible materials are not lying on the ground near the fire, or it will spread out of control. The fire needs a steady flow of air, but strong winds can blow out the fire. Therefore, keep it sheltered from them. Also, keep the fire out of the rain.

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