effects that are truly convincing usually
require real fire with objects made out of special materials
that will not create a health hazard or destroy the illusion
by shattering, popping, bubbling or generating toxic fumes.
plaster is a good material for burn effects- it can be cast
thin and lightweight into highly detailed silicone molds and
painted with acrylics to achieve trompe l'oeil realism. Natural
gases, Fire Gels and flammable liquids are highly dangerous
and always require the supervision of a certified pyrotechnician.
effects involve more fakery with clear vacuum form plastics,
casting resins and silicones standing in for ice, with the
illusion aided by cotton batting snow blankets, bead foam,
spray snow, fine foam crystals, methyl cellulose, silicone
oil, a-b smoke, liquid nitrogen, and other materials.