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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.


(Burn), verb conflagrate, deflagrate, heat, ignite, incandesce, inflame, kindle, light, scorch, singe, warm
Associated concepts: Fire Act, Firefighter's Rule, Fireman's Rule


(Discharge), verb depose, dismiss, expel, lay off, remove, stimulate, terminate, torrefy


(Stimulate), verb animate, arouse, electrify, enliven, excite, foster, goad, incite, inspirit, quicken, rouse, spur, stir
See also: ardor, barrage, burn, conflagration, deflagrate, depose, discharge, dismiss, foment, life, passion, provoke, remove, spirit, stimulate, supplant
References in periodicals archive ?
HOTTING UP: The pupils are impressed by the horse Pictures by IAN McINTYRE SHOW: Paka and his fire-breathing horse
The commercials featured an animated fire-breathing blade, spitting out its tongue, biting, smiling and frowning.
It is the fairy tale material of our age, complete with its high-tech versions of magical powers and fire-breathing dragons.
It doesn't take a fire-breathing "freshman Republican" to drive home the point that government programs need major rethinking.
The offspring of the monster Typhon and the half-woman, half-serpent Echidna, Cerberus had a number of siblings who were also monsters (including the many-headed Hydra and the fire-breathing monster Chimera).
Ronald Reagan gave the impression that he stood with those fire-breathing radicals of the New Right, but deep down, he was quite tolerant of other people's ideas--to the degree that he understood them.
Robosaurus, the fire-breathing, car-crushing robot known for thrilling crowds across the globe, will be sold at No Reserve during the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event on Jan.
The night-time event saw the Island Gardens transformed into a beautiful, fiery landscape, with the audience invited to explore fire-breathing copper flowers, scorching sculptural trees and glowing floral chimneys.
About 12,000 people watched fire-breathing dragons and performers in elaborate costumes and make-up as they danced and drummed.
Of the female cast members, Evelyn Allard performs some brilliant gymnastics with a hula hoop and Heather Holliday is gob-smacking amidst her fire-breathing and swordswallowing tricks, especially the point where she guzzles down a neon tube that lights her up from the inside.
The search engine giant replaced its familiar multi-coloured logo with a drawing of a fire-breathing dragon holding a leek.
The attraction, which opens on Saturday and features a fire-breathing dragon, was inspired by the hit BBC1 show.