FIRE puts one or more players in the role of a city fire department chief or battalion chief in a department. The mounted board is an 18 x 15 inch representation of an urban environment including streets and alleys, business and residential districts, industry and fire stations. Structures are color-keyed green for low buildings and blue for multistory. The playing pieces are squares and rectangles of 3/8" plexiglass. Self-adhesive colored stickers are applied producing lime-green miniature fire command vehicles, rescue ambulances, fire engines and ladder trucks. The standard game is 24 turns long, represent a 24-hour shift. Each turn, a die roll determines whether zero, one, or two alarms are received. Each building on the map is marked with a street address. Every time an alarm is received, a label corresponding to a board location is drawn randomly, indicating the site of the alarm. An alarm may be indicated as a "medical emergency, a "call" (corresponding to a "local alarm" in many fire departments) or a "1st Alarm" (potentially, a more serious situation). The controlling Player determines which assets to dispatch to the scene depending on nature of incident and location. Responses range from a single rescue ambulance for a medical emergency up to a multi-station response for a multistory structure, row house with multiple exposures or industrial complex. Each game-turn is broken down into three impulses. Each impulse, emergency vehicles may move up to eight squares toward a scene. Physical space limitations often play a role, since alleys are only one square wide. Pumpers take up two squares, ladder trucks three, making traffic control important when placing apparatus (particularly ladder trucks, which must be within reach of the structure in question). Beginning in the second impulse, as long as at least one unit has arrived the controlling player may attempt to resolve the incident. Resolution may determine that the call is a false alarm, that the fire has been extinguished, or that it continues to burn or intensifies. At the player's discretion, he may wait until the third impulse before resolving the situation, in order to allow more assets to arrive. Each unit type has a points value representing its firefighting capabilities. Certain combinations of units--such as two engine companies, a truck company, and a chief officer--have a higher value than the face value of the units present, representing the fire ground tactics such combinations make possible--primary and secondary search, fire suppression, water supply, ventilation, exposure protection, fire ground command, etc. The point total of firefighting assets present is cross-indexed to a die roll on the "Results Table" and an outcome determined. Fires not extinguished at the end of the game-turn intensify one level (defined in the game as "1st Alarm, 2nd Alarm," etc. through "5th Alarm"). Fires of 2nd Alarm intensity or greater spread to adjacent spaces, either to a neighboring building or to additional spaces within a single large structure. Poorly placed fire apparatus may also be destroyed by expanding fires. Each new game-turn the alarm determination process is followed, meaning that new incidents may be generated. It is important to hold some department assets in reserve to allow for responses to additional incidents. The entire department numbers one "Marshal" (Chief of Department), three Battalion Chiefs, twelve Engine Companies, five Ladder Companies and six Rescue Ambulances distributed in six stations of various sizes. Relocation of uncommitted assets is sometimes necessary to maintain adequate fire protection during major fires. Rules cover wind direction, firefighter injuries, apparatus breakdown or other loss while responding, and, optionally, water supply. The goal of FIRE is to maintain public safety at the lowest possible level of asset activity. At the end of each turn, points are assessed for each unit out of quarters, whether fighting a fire or returning from a call. The object is to achieve the lowest possible score while efficiently handling emergencies--a balancing act between dispatching sufficient assets and using assets efficiently.