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The primary result of combustion. The juridical meaning does not differ from the vernacular meaning.

It is a crime to burn certain types of property under particular circumstances, both under the Common Law and a number of state statutes. Some of these crimes are regarded as Arson, but ordinarily, arson relates specifically to buildings and their contents.

The act of willfully and maliciously setting fire to property belonging to another person—such as stacks of hay or grain, grasses, fences, or wood—is ordinarily punishable as a misdemeanor. Some jurisdictions grade the offense as a felony.

Statutes relating to fires ordinarily define the acts required for conviction. Under these statutes, willfully is defined as meaning with an evil or malicious intent or malevolent motive.

An individual who willfully or negligently sets fire to his or her own woods, prairie land, or other specified areas might be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, it is a misdemeanor to burn such areas without first giving proper notice to adjacent landowners or for an individual to allow a fire kindled on his or her wood or prairie to escape and burn adjoining property.

Some statutes relate to burning cultivated ground. Such legislation exists to prevent disastrous fires, and they do not apply to ordinary acts of agriculture that are properly conducted, such as the setting of fire to an area of land to prepare for planting.

Under some statutes that prohibit or regulate the setting of fires, a monetary penalty is imposed on people who violate their provisions. Frequently an agency—such as a state board of forest park preservation commissioners—is named specifically in the statute to bring an action to collect the penalty. Some statutes impose liability on an individual who allows fire to escape from his or her own property even though such escape is not willful, while other statutes provide that a landowner who sets a fire as a result of necessity—such as a back fire used to subdue another fire—will not be held liable. An individual is usually free from liability when he or she is lawfully burning something on his or her own farm and the fire accidentally spreads to an adjacent farm or woods.

There is civil liability for damages at common law imposed upon anyone who willfully and intentionally sets a fire. Some statutes under which criminal liability is imposed for setting certain types of fires also make express provisions that the individual whose property is damaged by the fire may initiate a civil action to recover any loss. Generally, the limit of damages is the loss actually incurred by the fire. Some statutes, however, provide for the recovery of double or treble damages.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
cha trib pre pro Ga WTH PSht Gary Tutton Welwyn Garden City, Herts THE FA demanding close to PS2,000 to display a flag honouring its 56 victims of the 1985 fire disaster was an insult to their memory.
All roads leading to Villaggio Mall were choked for hours soon after the news of the fire disaster spread among the country's residents.
Haydarpasa Train Station had witnessed a sabotage in 1917, a tanker disaster in 1979 and a fire disaster in 2010, wrote the newspapers.
UP TO 2,000 people stood in silence yesterday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bradford City fire disaster, which left 56 football fans dead.
The Tristram Ricketts Appeal for the Spinal Injuries Association received pounds 12,500; the Malton Fire Disaster Appeal was given pounds 18,032; and the racehorse retraining charity Heros benefited by pounds 33,000.
The document was deemed confidential due to references to the Atherstone-on-Stour fire disaster. These references are now blanked out.
Life isn't boring, friends, if you're a researcher just about to get a grip on tropical storm & fire disaster patterns, or if you've gathered statistics for ten years on the mating habits of aquatic insects & are about to publish the results.
About 200 homes were destroyed in the fire, one of hundreds that blazed across Victoria on February 7 in Australia's' worst fire disaster.
THE double whammy of freezing temperatures combined with alcohol tonight could be a recipe for fire disaster, revellers have been warned.
The European Commission decided at its weekly meeting on 16 May to authorise an extension of the Mont Blanc Tunnel concession held by the Societa Italiana del Traforo del Monte Bianco (SITMB), to enable the company to comply with the new safety rules for tunnels introduced unilaterally by the Italian and French authorities and adopted following the fatal fire disaster in the Mont Blanc Tunnel in March 1999.
With courage and confidence, the survivors of our nation's greatest fire disaster forged a new future among the ruins of the Peshtigo Fire.
In May 1987, the biggest fire disaster there in decades killed 193 people and destroyed 1 million hectares of virgin forest, while in May last year, more than 30,000 hectares of virgin forest were destroyed in fires fought by more than 10,000 professional firefighters.