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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 ?
Fire safety inspectors seized just under 500kg net mass of fireworks from two premises - one where the licensee was only permitted to store 75kg NM and the other wasn't licenced at all.
THERE have been a spate of incidents in the Teesside area involving fireworks recently, including in Middlesbrough's Pallister Park where youths were throwing them around.
Children take more interest in fireworks than badges and other things.
Blackhall Mill Community Association Fireworks, Blackhall Mill, Gateshead Time: Firework display is at 6.
WREXHAM Chirk AAAs: Bright Sparks Firework Display, Thursday, November from 5.
Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
Three popular types of fireworks that keep hospital emergency rooms busy are: bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers.
Undercover sting operations will also be taking place in partnership with Trading Standards to stop shop owners from selling fireworks to those under the age of 18.
A search of the vehicle disclosed a considerable amount of fireworks which were seized by the council officers.
The first step in any Fourth of July show is to decide what types of shells, or fireworks, will wow the crowd.
Divisional Officer Simon Morgan, Head of Community Fire Safety for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Every year, crews from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service spend a great deal of time responding to calls relating to the misuse of fireworks.
UNDER-18s would be banned from possessing fireworks in public under new laws being proposed by the government.