Fire is one of our greatest tools and also one of our most destructive forces. So is it an enemy or a friend?
Fire has been around since creation. In fact, it appears that fire had a hand in creation itself. Therefore, man did not discover fire. It is believed that he discovered its use. Before he discovered its use, man was probably at its mercy. Fires started in nature, by lightning or by the sun, it must have terrified the early man. He did not use it to cook meat as early man ate raw meat. Then one day he discovered that fire, which burnt and hurt, could be useful. From that time, fire ceased to be an enemy and became man's best friend.
Today, we can hardly conceive a life without fire. It cooks our food, provides warmth and burns away rubbish. Fire plays a major part in our lives from birth till we are cremated. Since it has been discovered that food tastes much better and is healthier when cookked, cooking has evolved over the years. Now, there are countless dishes to prepare using fire.
Yet, this great friend can be a very dangerous enemy. In its natural state, fire can break out at any moment - usually through careless handling - causing devastating harm. Destruction of lives and property by fire is one of the, almost, daily disasters in the world. Not even the most developed countries are exempt from this. All anyone can do is take as many precautions as possible to fight it when it occurs. Frequently when fires break out, humans are helpless and great losses occur before the fires are brought under control.
Even in the wild, fire does not have to be a villain. Fire is actually vital to the survival of several species. It remove slow growing underbush, cleanses the forest floor of debris, opens it up to sunlight and nourishes the soil. Established trees have to compete with undergrowth for nutrients and space. Fire clears the weaker trees and returns health to the forest.
Clearing bush from the forest floor with...
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