Coal fires burning around the world are an environmental catastrophe characterized by the emission of noxious gases, particulate matter, and condensation by-products. Underground mine fires and burning culm banks ignited by natural causes or human error are responsible for atmospheric pollution, acid rain, perilous land subsidence, the destruction of floral and faunal habitats, human fatalities, and increased coronary and respiratory diseases. Some of the oldest and largest coal fires in the world occur in China, the United States, and India. Techniques used to fight coal fires include slurry and ash injection, surface and tunnel sealing, aqueous foam technology, remote sensing, and computer software. Elusive, unpredictable, or cost prohibitive coal fires may burn indefinitely, choking the life out of a community and its environs while consuming a valuable natural resource.