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Fire: A complete guide to not burning down your house


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#1

Pianosaurus

Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:50 AM

Maybe my search-fu is getting rusty, but I couldn't find a good explanation for how fire spreads. The few I found were guesswork or obviously wrong. It surprised me that the details weren't on the wiki either. I therefore present the result of my own research.

Warning: Back up your world before trying! I have had complete success with the following methods, but you never know...

Fire
Don't think of blocks as being on fire or not. The important thing to remember is that fire is a block that can only live next to combustible materials. When a block of fire exists, it may spread to any other available block (i.e. a block of air) inside a volume of 3x3x6 meters. There is no checking for available paths, so you can not stop fire from spreading by placing stone blocks in between.

This is where fire may spread, as seen from the side:
[] [] []
[] [] []
[] [] []
[] [] []
[] :VV: []
[] [] []

Remember that the fire shown doesn't have to be on the top of a block. It can also be on the side of a block. In the following example, the side of a wooden block is on fire, and all the logs are in danger of catching fire.

[] :VV: :VV: :VV: []
:( [] [] [] []
[] [] [] [] :log:
[] [] :log: [] []
[] [] [] [] []
[] :VV: :VV: [] []
:log: [] [] [] []
[] [] [] :log: []

Only one of these logs is inside the zone where fire may spread, but the other logs enable the fire to spread to the block on one of their sides.

How to shrink the fire zone
Since fire can only spread to (and replace) blocks of air, you can replace air-blocks with something else to prevent spread. In the example above, logs 5 meters above the fire are in danger, because the blocks underneath are available. By placing the logs one step lower, and filling in the fire zone underneath with something non-flammable, you can save one meter.

[] :log: :log: :log: []
[] :VV: :P :D []
[] [] [] [] []
[] [] [] [] []
[] :VV: :VV: [] []

Personally, I prefer not putting a wooden floor above the fire. You wouldn't do it in real life either. Build a chimney instead; it looks better.

When creating a fireplace, you usually place your fire on top of a block of netherrack. To prevent the floor from catching fire, simply block off the sides of the netherrack:

[] [] :VV: [] []
:VV: :SSSS: :) :SSSS: :VV:

Remember that fire can spread indirectly. If you place the block of netherrack one level above the floor, the side of it can catch fire, thus allowing the fire to spread one extra block. In other words, don't do this:

[] [] :VV: [] []
[] [] :VV: [] []
:log: :Lava: :Lava: :VV: :log:

Edit: Actually, this is probably only true if you are burning something other than netherrack. The sides of netherrack can not be set on fire, and fire never spreads to netherrack. [Thanks to Celaeris for the info]

Remember that half-plates occupy the entire block too. If you want a raised fire, you can surround the netherrack with half-plates just as well as any other non-combustible materials.

Making it even smaller (for permanent fires only)
I don't have a single player world to test this in, so I can only vouch for it in multiplayer. Also, it is dangerous. If you light the fire with nothing combustible touching the fire zone, the game seems to forget that the fire can spread. Maybe it is some kind of optimisation. Therefore, you can simply build your wooden structure after lighting the fire.

Edit: The reason is that fire stops updating after 15 ticks. [Thanks to Celaeris for the info]

I don't recommend this, though. You may be fine with it in single player mode, but in multiplayer, some sod will be sure to come along and put the fire out by accident. Shortly afterwards, he will watch in astonishment at what happens when he tries to re-ignite it.

Another possible problem is that the game may re-check the fire zone based on other triggers. Some forum threads suggest that walking into the fire will cause such a zone check. I wouldn't be surprised if throwing something into the fire did the same.

I will update this post if I find out something more about exactly how this works.
[opblock] [] [opblock] where  [Sheep]  = me with no blocks or ladders.
[opblock] [Sheep] [opblock]
[opblock] [opblock] [opblock] Fire: A complete guide to not burning down your house

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#2

Pianosaurus

Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:51 AM

Lava
I reserve this post for now, until I have done some more research. It seems simple enough so far.
[opblock] [] [opblock] where  [Sheep]  = me with no blocks or ladders.
[opblock] [Sheep] [opblock]
[opblock] [opblock] [opblock] Fire: A complete guide to not burning down your house

#3

Mister Tulip
  • Location: Planet Zorg
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

Very nice. If I ever go crazy and decide to build a wooden house, this will definitely help. :iapprove:

Zarfot said:

*This post intentionally left blank, although the the presence of this sentence means that this isn't true, good fight*
Posted Image

#4

Bousky
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 12:10 PM

In my first wooden house, I was like "Fire is dangerous, but I'll build a good fireplace for safety." Then my whole house burned down. So I rebuild it, with a larger fireplace. It did burn again. So I rebuilt it without the fireplace.

I just build a new wooden house. I'll be experimenting soon… Wish me good luck!

OP, this is for you:  :D

BerendPronk said:

Herobrine is Minecraft's Bigfoot.
/troll

#5

Zylinder
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 01:11 PM

I'm too scared to build a fireplace or put any fire inside my house cause my house is literally made out of wool.
:SSSS:

OSX2000 said:

PwnagePorcupine said:

OSX2000 said:

How do you get the dogs to fight eachother without some dog-on-player action?
...that sounds disturbingly sexual.
Well, I try not to include animals in my fantasies, but to each their own I guess. I won't stop you from having you kinky fun. :P

#6

JohnTheRipper
  • Location: ::1

Posted 30 March 2011 - 01:26 PM

I've burned down several houses so far, and I must say "Good Job!" to you.
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#7

Radioaktiivinen
  • Location: Here

Posted 30 March 2011 - 01:32 PM

Waht the zone looks from above?

:D  :)  :SSSS:
:SSSS:  :VV:  :SSSS:
:SSSS:  :SSSS:  :SSSS:

[]  :SSSS:  []
:SSSS:  :VV:  :SSSS:
[]  :SSSS:  []

  [] []  :SSSS:  []
  [] :SSSS:  :SSSS:  :SSSS:
:SSSS:  :SSSS:  :VV:  :SSSS:  :SSSS:
[]  :SSSS:  :SSSS:  :SSSS:
  [] []  :SSSS:  []

?????
*Insert fun quote*

*Insert random links*

*Insert bar saying that minecraft was bought googolplexian times*

#8

Crunkatog

Posted 30 March 2011 - 02:04 PM

Just to clarify:

Works: (frontal view, showing first and second storey wooden plank floor adjacent to downstairs fireplace top)

:wood:  :wood:  :cobblestone:  :obsidian:  :obsidian:  :wood: :wood:  
[]  []  :obsidian:  :obsidian:  :obsidian:  [] []  
[]  []  :obsidian:  []  :obsidian:  :Notch:  []  
[]  []  :White:  :VV:  :White: []  []
:wood:  :White:  :White:  :log:  :White: :White:  :wood:
:D  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:


Doesn't work (most people, including me, were doing this before the 1.3 "fix":

:wood:  :White:  :White:  :Notch:  :wood:
[]  :Lava:  :Blue:  :brick:  []
[]  :brick:  []  :brick:  :Notch:  
[]  :brick:  :VV:  :brick: []
:wood:  :brick:  :log:  :brick: :wood:
:cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:

OR

:wood:  :wood:  :brick:  :wood:  :wood:
[]  :brick:  :brick:  :brick:  []
[]  :brick:  []  :brick:  :Notch:  
[]  :brick:  :VV:  :brick: []
:wood:  :brick:  :log:  :brick: :wood:
:cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:  :cobblestone:

Posted Image


#9

WiseGuy57

Posted 30 March 2011 - 03:31 PM

Here is my guide to not burning down your house:

Don't build houses out of wood. If you think cobblestone is so disgusting, just change it with a texture pack.

#10

rodabon
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for revisiting this.  I found your post and explanation about fire and the fire zone very well illustrated.

Back near the end of alpha I did my own experiments in this thread and came up with similar results:
http://www.minecraft...=99804&start=30

My fire zone illustration in that thread was larger but that was because my focus was on where a flammable block was at risk and not the blocks of air that a fire could actually occupy.  Your explanation is better in that regard.

I never did get around to studying lava as you seem to be.  I assumed the fire mechanic may be centered on the lava itself, but never got around to actually testing it.  I look forward to your findings.
Re: 3D Minecraft - Anyone tried it?
by c0yote  

I tried it with terrible results. I gave my wife my glasses for a second, a creeper showed up and now my wife is pregnant.
Stupid 3D..

#11

Pianosaurus

Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:06 PM

Thanks for your responses, people. I'm glad you found it useful.

WiseGuy57 said:

Here is my guide to not burning down your house:

Don't build houses out of wood. If you think cobblestone is so disgusting, just change it with a texture pack.

That is a possibility, but methinks you shouldn't limit yourself like that. Look at the real world. Some buildings are made of wood. I wouldn't want to limit the diversity in my buildings by not using wood.

Radioaktiivinen said:

Waht the zone looks from above?

:P  :D  :SSSS:
:SSSS:  :VV:  :SSSS:
:SSSS:  :SSSS:  :SSSS:

[snip]

?????

That one. It's a 3x3x6 box.

rodabon said:

Thanks for revisiting this.  I found your post and explanation about fire and the fire zone very well illustrated.

Back near the end of alpha I did my own experiments in this thread and came up with similar results:
http://www.minecraft...=99804&start=30

My fire zone illustration in that thread was larger but that was because my focus was on where a flammable block was at risk and not the blocks of air that a fire could actually occupy.  Your explanation is better in that regard.

I never did get around to studying lava as you seem to be.  I assumed the fire mechanic may be centered on the lava itself, but never got around to actually testing it.  I look forward to your findings.

Ah, that would have saved me some time. It seems we pretty much reached the same conclusion.

Bousky said:

In my first wooden house, I was like "Fire is dangerous, but I'll build a good fireplace for safety." Then my whole house burned down. So I rebuild it, with a larger fireplace. It did burn again. So I rebuilt it without the fireplace.

You should have tried four times:
g3YiPC91QUk
[opblock] [] [opblock] where  [Sheep]  = me with no blocks or ladders.
[opblock] [Sheep] [opblock]
[opblock] [opblock] [opblock] Fire: A complete guide to not burning down your house

#12

Ekiph
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:32 PM

Make your home out of Stone, cobblestone, or bricks.... Problem solved.
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#13

Mangekyou Ameratsu

Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:50 PM

Use wooden half steps stacked, they cant catch fire and look exactly the same :)
[simg]http://i53.tinypic.com/5jwxgg.png[/simg]

Wickedshot said:

Pretend cacti are watermelons and eat them, tastes like painful.

#14

Mr Sierra Hotel

Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

Awesome! This came at the perfect time I was just gonna start building a log cabin thanks man!

#15

treefrog54
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:25 PM

I am happy you made this! Now I wont be the only one who knows how to make fire safe wooden houses and how to be fire safe!
A wise man understands that he understands nothing. A wise man does not sound much different then me.
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#16

Bousky
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:07 PM

Mangekyou Ameratsu said:

Use wooden half steps stacked, they cant catch fire and look exactly the same :o
But what about logs?

BerendPronk said:

Herobrine is Minecraft's Bigfoot.
/troll

#17

Kris18
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Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:09 PM

Yay guide. :)
Instead of reserving posts, you can use gotos and anchors.

[goto=sectionA]Text[/goto]

[anchor=sectionA][/anchor]Section A

I haven't seen you around for a while, Pianosaurus! How are you?

#18

plastik2k10
  • Location: UK

Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:27 PM

First ever house fire today, and I've been playing since October. Basically, my floors, ceilings and roof are made of wood. I thought, okay, let's make a 'sprinkler' system. Basically a 1x1 hole in the ceiling of each room, with dirt in it, above which I placed a water source. I tested it out, water flooded the whole room. Great.

So then I decided, for some reason I cannot possibly understand, to set fire to my own floor.

You know, just to test it. It spread a little faster than I thought, no big deal I thought. I removed the dirt block, and down came the water. But wait. The wood is being destroyed, and the water isn't flooding the room, but flowing into the holes where the floor was and no further. Before I know it, the ceiling is on fire and the whole room is ablaze. Acting quickly, I manage to extinguish the flames entirely. Half a room gone, not too bad.

But then, in place of silence, crackling. More fire. But where? I climb the stairs and smash a window to climb onto the now blazing roof. Within seconds the whole place was burning down. My home since January, in ruins.

#19

Pianosaurus

Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:54 PM

Kris18 said:

Yay guide. :iapprove:
Instead of reserving posts, you can use gotos and anchors.
I'll remember that for next time. I assumed there was a way, but didn't feel like doing any more research...

Kris18 said:

I haven't seen you around for a while, Pianosaurus! How are you?
I fell off the edge of the world for a while, but I've orbited around and come back now. A friend of mine set up a server, which brought me back to the wonders of Minecraft. I guess I just temporarily lost my drive when my pre-biome world became obsolete.

plastik2k10 said:

Within seconds the whole place was burning down. My home since January, in ruins.
I feel your pain, dude. I still suffer from Minecraft pyrophobia, even though I know how it works now.
[opblock] [] [opblock] where  [Sheep]  = me with no blocks or ladders.
[opblock] [Sheep] [opblock]
[opblock] [opblock] [opblock] Fire: A complete guide to not burning down your house

#20

rodabon
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:22 AM

You are going to do some research on lava right?  I've been curious whether it's as I expect or different. My schedule recently don't leave me much time for minecraft right now or I would tinker with it some.
Re: 3D Minecraft - Anyone tried it?
by c0yote  

I tried it with terrible results. I gave my wife my glasses for a second, a creeper showed up and now my wife is pregnant.
Stupid 3D..