So this is unsourced and from an anonymous account but I can tell you that I knew a man some years ago. A real hard ticket, old school Cold War dude. We were talking about how to burn crops -don't ask- and he looked at me and laughed. He takes a drink and leans in conspiratorially "what you need is stray cats (he had a number of strategies that revolved around stray cats) you tape (he liked storm tape a lot the fibrous kind you use to cover windows) tar soaked torches to their tails and bring them to a road that travels through the target fields. (He had a system involving sleeping bags and welding gloves for transporting stray cats worked out but I won't horrify you with it.) you light the torches and t
Let the cats go. OFF they run! Very fast! - he becomes quite animated here- the cat runs it's scared of the fire. It gets tired and stops running. The torch starts a fire! The cat become scared and runs again. It becomes tired stops BOOM! New fire and so on. You do this with many cats and you have lovely fire."
That dude hated cats, also he was probably just jerking me around I was young then and impressionable. But the point is, using cats as described here is not a new idea. I'm thinking I heard that story in the mid 90s.