forest fire

GC: n

S: EC – (last access: 25 October 2017); The Guardian – (last access: 25 October 2017).

N: 1. – forest (n): late 13c., “extensive tree-covered district,” especially one set aside for royal hunting and under the protection of the king, from Old French forest “forest, wood, woodland” (Modern French forêt), probably ultimately from Late Latin/Medieval Latin forestem silvam “the outside woods,” a term from the Capitularies of Charlemagne denoting “the royal forest.” This word comes to Medieval Latin, perhaps via a Germanic source akin to Old High German forst, from Latin foris “outside”. If so, the sense is “beyond the park,” the park (Latin parcus) being the main or central fenced woodland.
– fire (n): Old English fyr “fire, a fire,” from Proto-Germanic *fur-i- (source also of Old Saxon fiur, Old Frisian fiur, Old Norse fürr, Middle Dutch and Dutch vuur, Old High German fiur, German Feuer “fire”), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- “fire.” Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully displace Middle English fier (preserved in fiery) until c. 1600.
3. Any wildfire or prescribed fire that is burning in forested areas, grass, or alpine/tundra vegetation.
Term used by Parks Canada.
4. Terminological disambiguation:

  • fire: A destructive burning (as of a building). Include in this category urban, industrial or rural fires, but not including wild (forest) fires. Limited to those induced or highly connected to natural phenomena, such as electrical storms, earthquakes, droughts, etc. (GLIDE).
  • forest or grassland fire: Fires in forest or brush grasslands that cover extensive areas and usually do extensive damage. They may start by natural causes such as volcanic eruptions or lighting, or they may be caused by arsonists or careless smokers, by those burning wood or by clearing a forest area. (UN DHA).
  • unwanted fire, hostile fire, unfriendly fire, fire: A burning that is not in its proper place and under proper control, and which is causing damage.
  • fire. Combustion spreading uncontrolled in time and space.
  • A fire, for purposes of Fire Insurance, must be hostile, which means it is not in the place for which it is intended.
  • fire: term standardized by ISO.
  • Hostile Fire: A fire which occurs in or escapes to a place not anticipated, e.g., a fire in a fireplace becomes uncontrollable and ignites something externally. Friendly Fire: A fire confined to the place it is supposed to be, e.g., in the fireplace; in the incinerator.

6. Collocations with “fire” (destructive flames):

  • Noun: bush, forest, house.
  • Adj.: big, huge, fierce, serious, disastrous.
  • Verb + fire: be on, catch, cause, set sth on, start, fan, add fuel to, fuel (both figurative), extinguish, put out, fight, contain, control, be damaged by/in, be destroyed by/in, be killed by/in, die in.
  • fire + verb: break out, start, go out, blaze, burn, rage, spread, sweep through sth, damage sth, destroy sth, gut sth.
  • fire + noun: safety.
  • fire + verb: burn, kindle, light, die (down), burn (itself) out, go out, crackle, glow, smoke.
  • Phrases: the glow from/of a fire.

7. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention, among many others, the movie Only the Brave (2017) directed by Joseph Kosinski.

S: 1. OED –; (last access: 25 October 2017). 2. 3. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 26 October 2017). 4. GLOSS RW – (p. 27 & 28); TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 25 October 2017). 6. OD – (last access: 26 October 2017). 7. IMDb – (last access: 26 October 2017).

SYN: wildfire

S: CNN – (last access: 19 October 2017); CAMB – (last access: 19 October 2017); OED – (last access: 19 October 2017).

CR: arsonist, pyromania, pyromaniac.