I write this blog from Southern California, that part of the United States that is somewhat infamous for burning up at the drop of a match. If you have to resort to starting a fire in an area where fires are prohibited, be very, very careful as there is a good chance of burning down the entire forest around you.
That said, there are times when the choice is start a fire or freeze, there is a strong argument in favor of starting a fire. Fire can be a method to warm yourself and others, it can provide the means to disinfect water, it can help cook food. The ability to start a fire in an emergency can easily save your life when done properly.
The best way to be able to start a fire is to carry some waterproof matches along with a small bit of fire starter. For fire starter, many people will purchase specific things made for that, but even carrying some dryer lint in a ziplock bag can do the trick. If you don’t have waterproof matches, a regular lighter is an acceptable alternative, although they tend to be more sensitive to wind and rain.
Overall, use fire cautiously, especially when you are in an area that tends to burn easily. Always follow the rules and regulations that are in play for the area you are in. Fire, when used properly, can be a great tool.