In the film Sorcerer, they very carefully man-handle and also transport poorly aged dynamite, with the hope of using it to extinguish the oil fire.

Whilst it is not shown, how on earth do you put out an oil fire so large it seems to rage for days with a substance so dangerous that dropping one stick could be devastating?

  • 3
    We don't need spoilers on a 45-year-old movie. btw, you really should see the other version of this, Wages of Fear
    – Tetsujin
    May 28, 2023 at 16:49
  • What do you need for any fire? Fuel, heat, oxidiser. Remove any of those and there's no more fire. Which of these can a dynamite explosion affect? :P
    – Luaan
    May 29, 2023 at 6:45
  • @Luaan Fuel and oxidizer. See the answer below. Jun 13, 2023 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


I knew the analogy already, but I had to use Wikipedia to properly define it.
In essence it's like blowing out a candle. You blow the flame far enough away it can't re-ignite the source.

From Wikipedia

Oil well fires are more difficult to extinguish than regular fires due to the enormous fuel supply for the fire. In fighting a fire at a wellhead, typically high explosives, such as dynamite, are used to create a shockwave that pushes the burning fuel and local atmospheric oxygen away from a well. (This is a similar principle to blowing out a candle.) The flame is removed and the fuel can continue to spill out without catching fire.


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