I hear a lot about fire on the news lately. It seems like half of Texas is on fire or was and also there seems to be a lot of home and apartment fires around this area, too. That got me wondering about fire. First, what is it?
A simple explanation is the combination of a fuel and oxygen that produces heat and flame. Like one article I read stated, “Fire is an event, not a thing.” Most all of the fuels we use got their energy from the sun. You know, like wood, coal, gas, oil, etc. All these fuels were produced by photosynthesis, which is nothing more than taking sunlight and heat to make chemical energy in the form of fossil fuel, wood, etc. Fire uses chemical energy to make light and heat. So a campfire is a tree running in reverse.
There have been a lot of wild fires here in Texas that has burned over a million acres and caused the loss of homes, property, and the lives of some firefighters. But, do you know what the biggest wild fire in recorded history was and where it was? In 1987 a wildfire burned 20 million acres across China and the Soviet Union.
Sometimes some good can come out of something bad. Like back in 1666, eighty percent of London was destroyed by fire, but it also ended an outbreak of bubonic plague that had killed more than 65,000 people over the previous year.
Do you know what America’s deadliest was? I bet you guessed the Great Chicago Fire, didn’t you? Yea, I would have, too. Just for your information, the second deadliest fire broke out the same day as the Great Chicago Fire but with 1200 casualties, the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin was the second deadliest. The most deadly fire was on a boat in the Mississippi River where 1547 passengers were killed. It was the steam ship Sultana. Google “SS Sultana” to read more about it.
I could go on and on and on, but I have to go light a fire so I can get a cup of my good strong coffee. You all have a great holiday weekend and be safe out there.