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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 ?
I'm printing this to let you know I had such a great response to my request for your best bull, I'm extending the deadline, so fire away. I may get arrested when I print 'em, so come visit me in prison, will ya?
Keep your fire away from your tent or other flammable objects.
The Warriors are without a win in the Premiership all season, while their opponents have simply failed to fire away from home, leading coach Paul Grayson to question the players' desire after last weekend's 34-19 defeat at Harlequins.
Then they load the howitzer and fire away. It seems simple enough, but several variables can slow the process, such as how much charge to use or tracking fellow Marines or "friendlies." But Company B makes it look easy.
Peter Cornall of the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents said that campers should be careful to keep fire away from their tents.
Shortly into the second round, as Griffith continued to fire away relentlessly, a brief opening appeared--and Braddock capitalized by firing a straight fight at the contender's jaw.
Well, fire away! CalCPA's Committee on Taxation is accepting questions for its fall 2005 tax liaison meetings.
During OIF, the DC-130A was deployed to a forward operating location where it was used to launch BQM-34 Firebee target drones near Baghdad, Iraq, dropping radar-jamming chaff and decoys to draw antiaircraft fire away from coalition strike aircraft.
Firefighters battled to keep a large fire away from a Cardiff primary school last night when a timber yard went up in flames.
Norris, having had first choice of gate position after recording five straight wins, selected grid three, leaving Nicholls the inside, and the Ipswich star capitalised to fire away and leave the three Eagles riders in his wake.
If a child is over 6 months of age and "the parent wants it, fire away," he commented.
If the pin that corresponds with that distance is clear of the obstacle, fire away. Your arrow will fly over or under the obstacle and cleanly to the target.