a large and destructive fire
conflagration - fire
The term ‘conflagration’ can be used in both a literal and figurative sense. Literally, it describes a raging inferno that consumes all in its path including buildings and trees. Figuratively, it is used in relation to an intense, destructive, and violent situation, such as a war. In both senses, the word implies something devastating and difficult to control.
What started as a small campfire soon developed into a major conflagration that consumed a large part of the forest.
The dispute between the neighbouring countries escalated into a full-blown conflagration that lasted 5 years.
We must not allow the ongoing social unrest to conflagrate to a point where riot police need to be deployed on the streets.