Fire Breathing

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Fire breathing is the act of creating a large flame by spraying, with one's breath, a flammable liquid upon an open flame. The flame is usually held an arm's length away and the spray should be both powerful and misty.

A number of legendary creatures are said to possess innate capabilities for fire breathing, most notably dragons.



While not a difficult skill, it is the most dangerous of all the fire arts, and not just due to the obvious risk of serious burns. The fuels that create the most spectacular flames are often extremely poisonous and carcinogenic. To increase safety, fire breathers must avoid highly explosive fuels such as alcohol, spirit-based fuels, and most petrochemicals, instead using safer combustibles with a high flash point (>50 °C) and relatively low burn temperature. Due to its relatively safe (~90 °C) flash point, paraffin or ultra pure lamp oil, is the safest fuel for fire breathing.

Wind direction is extremely important when fire breathing. To determine the wind direction artists usually watch the flame on their torch. If the torch's flame is not being blown in any specific direction then it is safe to breathe. If a torch's flame is consistently blowing in a specific direction it is safe to breathe in that direction. Wind reversal can cause the flame to burn the breather.

Breathers create a fine mist by spitting with an aperture similar to that needed for playing a trumpet. The wider a breather's mouth is the larger the droplets will be and the less they will travel causing the fire to be that much closer to the breather's face.

Breathers will usually carry a cloth to wipe their mouth between breathes to remove the fuel from their skin. Breathers with facial hair must be especially careful that the fuel does not collect in the hair where it could catch fire and would burn for an extended period because hair acts like a wick.

"Even done correctly fire breathing can have adverse results on the health and well being of the breather such as, but not limited to:
* Death * Severe burns * Cancer * Dental Problems * Stomach and tissue ulcers * Fuel Poisoning * Chemical Pnuemonia or Acute Respiratory Distress * Dry Cough * Headache, dizziness, drunken ill feeling * Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache * Dry mouth/ Cotton Mouth * Dry skin and topical heat burns"
-Pele, Fire Breathing Basics

Fuel Risks

Alcohol can be absorbed into the blood stream without drinking it. Thus attempting fire breathing with alcohol can cause intoxication.

Ultra pure lamp oil mist inhalation can cause a headache and sinus infection. If a large enough amount is swallowed it can also cause vomiting. [1]

In Belegarth

Fire breathing is a rare talent of a select few fighters. Usually it takes place during night life at events and during major field entrances (most commonly House Hellhammer) It should only be attempted by those have undergone professional training. You should also ask permission from the event staff and have a spotter or medic nearby. There is at least one case of serious injury at a Belegarth event (See Figure 1)

Fire breathing stunts

These are arranged in alphabetical order. These acts should not be attempted without professional training.

Vapor stunts

Vapor Stunts use the vapors (as opposed to liquid fuel) collected in the mouth (usually during an extinguish) to light or keep a flame burning for what are usually smaller stunts. Vapor stunts include:

  • Human Candle - slowly feed a candle sized flame with vapors you hold
  • Cigarette Light - light a cigarette with a slightly larger human candle
  • Vapor Transfer - ignite one torch with the vapor from another
  • Volcano - shoot vapors straight up

One person blasts

One Person Blasts consist of a person spraying and igniting an atomized liquid fuel into the air to create a fire blast effect. One person blasts include:

  • 45 Degree Fire Blast - 45 degree up angle
  • Camp Fire - bounce the flame off the ground
  • Carousel - long horizontal blast while rotating through a full circle
  • Forward Fire Blast - parallel to the ground
  • Lift - 2 or more Repeating Blasts lit off of one torch ignition
  • Marlboro Man - light your blast off the Marlboro you shoot out with the blast
  • Repeating Blasts - 3 or more short blasts without refueling
  • Torch to Torch Light - light a torch held 3' from their ignition torch with a short blast
  • Upward Fire Blast - shoot upwards

Group fire stunts

Group Fire Stunts are fire breathing stunts that involve 2 or more people fire breathing together to create larger, usually more impressive stunts. Group fire stunts are usually highly choreographed, and can take years to master. Group stunts include:

  • Biggest Blast Ever - 2 or more simultaneous blasts straight up
  • Box - 9 people, combined skills allow passing l>r, r>l, front> volcano, volcano to front
  • A Circus Tent - 4 or more blasts 45 degrees upwards, lighting off a high central point
  • Crucifixion - Forward Fire blast done over the length of a second performer's body, while the second performer is lying on a table. This is typically done with the flame mere inches from the second performer's body
  • Eight - also known as "double circles" is when you have one kneeling circle blowing a horizontal blast, and a second standing circle (directly behind the first circle) blowing a vertical blast simultaneously
  • End to End/Rainbow - 2 simultaneous Fire Blasts, both lit off a high central point
  • Grandfather/Elder - 3 off center, simultaneous campfire blasts. Creates a very tall fire vortex
  • Group Carousel - Star Blast with group rotation
  • Machine - short blasts on the sides, long center blast, reconfigure, repeat
  • Multi Blast Carousel - Group Carousel with many short blasts instead of one long one
  • Star Blast - 4 or more full blasts, all breathers standing back to back and blowing out
  • Straight Pass - 3 or more people passing flames without secondary torch ignitions
  • The Most Dangerous Trick in the World - Fire blast lit off of partner's volcano
  • Wheel - 3 simultaneous blasts, center straight up, ends out to the sides and up 45 degrees

See Also

External links


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