The mystical, magical fire element can be associated with so many terms: purification, renewal, destruction, energy, change, enlightenment, illumination, spirituality, damnation, etc. Although this powerful element can terrorize the land and destroy possessions and people that are precious to us, it also enables life to generate, especially in the case of plants and trees in the western and southwestern parts of the U.S. So where did this Jack-of-all-trades get its start?
The history of fire starts long ago. If we turn back the hands of time to at least one million years ago, this is where fire started—in the hands of Homo erectus and Australopithecus robustus. These ancestors of modern man were found with hearths, and evidence shows they used fire for simple purposes such as cooking, light, protection and warmth. In addition, fire brought them together for socialization and eventually became a symbol of religion, ritual and myth. This is when the element began its long road to transformation.