Different fires are fought differently, but the big idea is usually the same — to deprive the fire of its fuel and let it go out by itself. This can be achieved in many ways.
Firelines or Firebreaks
With bull dozers and land equipment, firefighters clear a ring around the fire area and to get rid of all fuel in the fire’s path. As the fire gets to the ring, it can no longer spread as there is no fuel in its path.
Fire fighters look for a natural edge or boundary, such as a road, stream or plain field, and they do a controlled burn of all the fuel between the barrier and the fire. This means that before the fire gets there, it would have already burned out.
Special aircrafts call air tankers fly over the fire and dump water, fire retardant (eg. the pink coloured one is called jelly-o) and chemicals (foam) on the fire. An example of such chemical is ammonium phosphate. Sometimes suspended buckets of between 100 to 2000 gallons carry water and sprinkle it over the fires. In some developed countries, special pilot-less air tankers controlled by computers do this job so that no human is put in harms way.
These days, satellites, computers, aircrafts and digital equipment are used to monitor fires, forecast wind directions and create instant and effective maps and information needed to fight fires. This makes it a lot easier and quicker for firefighters to contain and put out fires.
Trained firefighters are key to fighting fires. They get into gear (wear oxygen masks, appropriate fire-proof clothing) and carry important tools on them to fight fires. One good fireproof material used in their clothing is called Nomex. Sometimes they also carry fire shelters if they get close to fires. There are special tents protect them from extreme heat incase they are trapped by the fires.