This Bureau of Mines publication is a literature study of the problem of spontaneous oxidation and combustion of sulfides in underground mines. It summarizes the present-day hazards, process mechanisms, and prevention and control techniques of this growing problem in underground mines. The iron sulfides generally have the greatest tendency to oxidize, particularly pyrrhotite. The presence of moisture and oxygen is essential for the oxidation reaction. Highly fractured sulfides, when found with timber or combustible refuse in slowly circulating air, pose the most serious fire hazard. Quenching with water is effective in quickly dealing with local hot spots, but ventilation at high flow rates is the most effective and economical means for long-term prevention and control.