Theories abound, but it can be observed in cultures and places far and wide. Even in our modern centrally heated buildings, we try to recreate the living flame with gas effect fire places.
It is little surprise then that many abuse the
landscape by lighting fires in unsuitable places, drinking heavily and leaving their rubbish scattered around many popular beauty spots. It is actions like this that quite rightly discourage landowners from allowing access and this impacts even upon responsible campers as a result.
Remember, an open fire should only used where it is
safe to do so and with the permission of the land owner. It is not an excuse to say you do not know who owns the land, if you don’t have permission, do not use an open fire. End of story.
Even in places where I have obtained permission, I usually use a fire tray simply because it causes less damage.