The Three Elements of Fire

The process of combustion produces fire, which is characterized by heat, flame, and light. To create a fire, three elements are required: fuel, oxygen, and heat. This article will give you a better understanding of the three elements that cause fire. Whether you’re dealing with a fire in your backyard, spacecraft, or on a space station, there are several things that you need to know about fire. Let’s get started.

Combustible gases

Fire starts when a mixture of combustible gases ignites. Flames are formed when oxygen and fuel gas react together. This creates heat and the resulting chemical species, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide, combines with the oxygen in the air. The reaction is characterized by several chain initiation and chain termination steps. The ignition source is needed for each step. This article provides an explanation of how fire starts and what causes it.

Solid fuels

There are various solid fuels for fire, each with its own unique characteristics. The heating value of each solid fuel is determined by the atomic ratios of its constituents in the Van Krevelen diagram. Their volatile contents are also important for the design of the firing system. Coal has a relatively high volatile content and a net calorific value between 3.5 and 33 MJ/kg. Among the different types of coal, house coal is the most popular choice for open fires.

Dead fuels

The response of dead surface fuels to moisture changes depends on several factors, including the size and composition of fuel particles. Generally, fuel particles with a smaller diameter tend to have greater surface area to volume ratios, which translates into shorter response times. The fuel bed’s properties also influence dead surface fuel moisture responses. In a dense stand, more precipitation is intercepted by the fuel and the moisture content of the surface is lower than in a sparsely packed stand. Additionally, the amount and duration of precipitation events may influence the fuel moisture content.


In a series of experiments, NASA has previously lit spacecraft on fire. These objects were less than 4 inches in diameter, but were large enough to ignite. These experiments will be documented on NASA TV. The experiment will allow NASA to better understand what happens to flames in space. The mission will take place in two months. The astronauts will not be able to see the fire directly, but NASA scientists will film it and send back data.

Buffer zones

Defensible space is a vital part of defending your home from fire. It’s necessary around buildings, particularly during the summer. By keeping flammable vegetation out of a home, you will increase your chances of survival. Firefighters are also more likely to spend more time defending your home if there’s more space between buildings. But how do you create this buffer zone? First, determine what is at risk around your home. Generally, you should remove as much dry leaves and other vegetation from the property as you can.


While there are several ways that heat is transferred during a fire, convection plays a significant role. Convection during fire refers to the flow of heat from a high-temperature source to a lower-temperature source. This occurs both naturally and under externally imposed conditions, such as wind. During fires, both natural and forced convection are important for controlling the amount of heat that escapes from the burning area.

Rate of spread

The Rate of Spread (ROS) of a fire is the speed at which the fire moves away from its origin. The fire spreads rapidly because of three factors: wind, moisture and slope. Moreover, a small change in fine dead fuel moisture has the same effect as a large change in relative humidity. In addition, the flame length of grass varies with the moisture content of its fuel. A 2% dry-fuel moisture corresponding to 2 feet flame length will spread fire about 33 chains an hour. The flame length of shrubs varies with its moisture content: 10% of dry material corresponds to a 10 foot flame and 78 chains per hour.