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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 ?
Defendant Jason Jones, 31, admitted setting fire to a tumble dryer at the house Holborn Road in Brynteg, Wrexham, on August 30.
You systematically set about setting fire to the flat, setting fire to every pair of curtains and ran around the flat with the hairspray.
Two men have been charged with shooting at Christmas Eve party guests and setting fire to a car.
A prisoner has been jailed for a further three months for setting fire to a pillow in his cell at Dubai Central Jail.
Governor of Quneitra, Hussein Arnous, indicated to the repeated violations by the Israeli occupation of international resolutions, adding that setting fire deliberately along the "cease fire" line aims at destroying the environment and the biodiversity in Golan and part of Quneitra governorate.
He was charged with setting fire to his family home in Sandyknowes Park, Glengormley, Co Antrim, in the early hours of Friday.
A security video showed a man pouring liquid on the gate before setting fire to it.
Dubai An accountant faces seven years in jail after a court convicted him yesterday of deliberately setting fire to Dh250,000 in cash and stealing a similar amount from the taxi company where he worked.
They were convicted of setting fire to two cars belonging to the brothers' uncle after pouring petrol on them.
Mr McReddie told the judge: "This setting fire to the socks gives you an insight into the state he was in.
A MOTHER tried to burn down her home by setting fire to a bag of rubbish because she was due to be evicted.
Summary: Rabat - Moroccan authorities have arrested four people involved in stealing and setting fire at a Jewish club in Rabat on 12 February night, police sources said Friday.