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Flamethrowers were first used during the First Pass to destroy Thread burrows. When the new dragonriders discovered that the queen dragons could not chew firestone, Sean Connell came up with the idea of the girls using flamethrowers to fight Thread while flying their dragons.
When T'mar and Fiona took the injured riders and weyrlings from Fort Weyr back in time to Igen Weyr, Fiona hoped to find a flamethrower so she could practice with the weyrlings, but all flamethrowers from Igen had been brought to Telgar Weyr when the Igen riders merged with that weyr. She was unsuccessful at finding a flamethrower, but she suggested to Zenor and Terregar that they invent a flamethrower that could use the new firestone.
By the Ninth Pass, dragonriders were unfamiliar with flamethrowers, until Masterweaver Zurg recalled a tapestry from Ruatha Hold which showed holders using flamethrowers. Mastersmith Fandarel tried to create flamethrowers based on the design, but his work was rendered unnecessary when Lessa brought the five missing weyrs from the Eighth Interval to the Ninth Pass, along with all their equipment, including their flamethrowers.