The Tri-Element of Fire

What are the elements of the fire triangle?

Fire triangle contains oxygen (the oxidising agent), fuel (burning material) and heat (the energy that will provides the kicker to start the fire). Each element is crucial to start and maintain the flame. The fuel helps to maintain the flame. Ample amount of it should be ready at the side to ensure that it can be added in when the flame becomes smaller. Oxygen, similar to fuel, helps maintain and keep the fire burning, however, when oxygen amount is lowered, the fuel will turn into charcoal or storage fuel, that can last longer when burnt in future. Heat, is the start of the fire, creating enough heat, will kick start the flame, and with the combination of ample oxygen and fuel, will create a fire that can be sustain.

Tinder (thin & light)
It is a flammable material to start the lighting of the fire, like hay, cotton wool, coconut husk or cotton twine. The important thing is that it can be lighted easily, however it usually doesn’t last long.

Kindling (small & middle-size)
They are small twigs or sticks that help carry the lighted fire to hold it, and gradually spread to the thicker wood. Usually have longer fire maintaining life than the Tinder.

Fuel (thick & big)
The material that can maintain the fire without burning off too quickly, usually a large wood log or charcoal.

How to identify dry standing deadwood?
By checking the condition of the barks and trunks, we can observe if its wet and sappy. If so, the tree is likely to be alive, but if its all dried and has lots of exposed bare wood, then it is likely to be dead.

How to identify punk?
The wood is soft and crumbly, because it has been attacked by fungus. It falls off easily

Types of fungi that can be of use
Tinder Fungus (Not easily found in Singapore)

What can be done if resources aren’t available
Use the natural environment for more resources, usually dried material will be available around open area, where moisture gets evaporated easily. The weather before the activity is also crucial, if it rained the moments before the activity, it is less likely to find more dry wood. So some time need to be given to dry off the moisture in the resources.

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