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Fire is a damaging mechanic in Project Zomboid, that can be created via various means.

Starting fires with weapons/appliances

Fires can be started either by using an incendiary weapon such as a Molotov Cocktail, or by leaving a heat source on for too long. Fire will attract zombies to the location of the flames. The fire will burn down structures and will burn zombies/survivors to death. If the fire touches a wall or any other flammable structure, the structure may eventually burn down depending upon its composition; a brick, stone, or metal wall may catch fire and be damaged but go out on its own, whilst a wooden building is far more likely to be burned to ashes. The presence of rain or fog may also influence ongoing fires.

Starting fires using tool

Fires can be starting as long as the following requirements are met.


  1. A place to start a fire (such as a campfire or grill)
  2. Tinder (such as rags, twigs, books, magazines)
  3. Fuel (just about any wooden item)
  4. A tool to start a fire (such as a lighter, lit candle, matches, or drill plank)

Start by right-clicking anything that a fire can be started in and select add fuel from the context drop down menu, each fuel item will show much burn time it will add to the fire. Next, select start fire and select your tool / tinder source (note drill planks require sturdy sticks and can be only be used on campfires, while the option to use drill planks is available on grills nothing will happen if the option is selected). Items can then be added to the fire using the icon on the inventory screen.

Generally, zombies take slightly longer to kill with fire than a survivor, but are not immune to it. More importantly, as it creates a lot of light and sound, fire will attract zombies; as such it can be used to create a (potentially expensive) distraction by igniting a building, or by setting fire to a group of zombies themselves. If players are able to avoid detection, the zombies should huddle up around each other as they burn, whilst occasionally attracting more to their mass, leading to a shambling clump of burning undead – and, ultimately, a pile of charred remains.

Fire can be a very effective and cheap method of disposing of large hordes of undead, even in the early game. The simplest method to do such is to build a campfire in a large open field, light it, and lure the horde to the area. Have at least one of the zombies walk over it, and circle around the horde to make them more condensed so the fire will spread to all Zombies. Simply circle around them, or leave if you dont care about anything in the area catching on fire, and within a few in-game hours they will all be reduced to ash.

Once the fire is set, it is very likely that the fire will start spreading and will do so if there is something to spread on. The fire can spread to survivors, zombies, and structures, which in turn look for even more things to spread across. Once the fire has nothing to spread across for a few dozen in-game minutes, the fire will eventually die out.

In the event the player catches on fire, running (preferably out in the rain) will eventually extinguish the player. Fires can also be put out using the right mouse button and clicking extinguish. To fight a small fire, a container of water can be used, while an extinguisher should be used to combat larger fires. Even with these tools, it is recommended to choose a campfire location away from anything that may spread a fire, in case a routine cookout goes out of control. Always remember to turn off/extinguish a heat source once you are done using it.

Currently, cars are immune to fire, so sitting in it and driving into fire will not damage the player or the car at all.

Fire system is due to be revamped – it was originally planned for build 41, but was delayed, probably to build 42.


Fire lighters

Icon Name Weight Function Item ID
Lighter.png Lighter 0.1 0.4 Base.Lighter
Matches.png Matches 0.1 0.4 Base.Matches
TZ PerforatedWoodenPlank.png Notched Wooden Plank 0.5 0.4 Base.PercedWood


Icon Name Weight Function Item ID
Aerosolbomb.png Aerosol Bomb 1.5 0.4 Base.Aerosolbomb
BottleWithGas.png Fire Bomb 1.5 0.4 Base.BottleWithGas
Molotov.png Molotov Cocktail 1.5 0.4 Base.Molotov
PipeBomb.png Pipe Bomb 1.5 0.4 Base.PipeBomb


Icon Name Weight Function Item ID
Generator.png Generator 40 0.4 Base.Generator
Oven.png Heat source 20 0.4 Movables.Moveable
Campfire.png Campfire 2 0.4 farming.CampfireKit