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Fire is a two-edged sword. It can be your best friend, or it can be your worst enemy. The ability to start a fire is one of the most important survival skills you can master. Without fire, you will have a hard time staying warm, purifying water and cooking food.

It is impossible to count the number of articles that have been written about building and starting a fire, but how much information have you seen about the dangers associated with fire and how to control and extinguish a fire? (We thought so.)

According to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 357,000 home structure fires reported in 2017. This was the second-lowest count in the 10 years ending in 2017—but 2,630 people still lost their lives.

How many of these fires could have been prevented? Maybe the fire was caused by creosote buildup in the chimney (creosote is a flammable substance given off when wood is burned. This substance is more common in soft woods such as pine and spruce, but it is found in all woods, and it sticks to the walls of the chimney). Some fires might have been caused by carelessly putting a fire too close to a shelter. Maybe they were due to the improper storage of flammable material. There are many possibilities, but the bottom line is that it is just as important to know how to prevent and put a fire out as it is to start one.


Fire is one of the most destructive forces of nature. Whether caused by lightning, molten lava or a careless match, once started—and if not controlled quickly—fire will destroy everything in its path.

It doesn’t take much to ignite dry materials on the forest floor or dry grass in a field. Once you add man-made materials to the mix, all bets are off. Common man-made items include tents, backpacks, clothing, gun cases and much more of what we use every day.

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American Survival Guide July 2019, How-To : Fire Protection 101, Decoding The Signals of Civil Unrest, Hydration Filtration + Suncompass Solar Nav, And More...