Wind. Rain. Fire. The forces of nature were in evidence Wednesday as an October storm blustered through southern Maine, and firefighters held a demonstration to help mark Fire Prevention Week. The gusting wind raked political signs off their posts and ripped leaves from trees — whether the leaves were ready to fall or not.

Meanwhile, outside Central Fire Station in Portland, fire officials showed how there’s a right way and a wrong way to fight stove-top grease fires, the most common types of fires in the home.

Firefighters ignited a frying pan with oil in it. As the flames danced, firefighter Adam Behnke showed what not to do: He tossed a cup of water on the flames. Flames shot up and over the back of the stove as the water mixed and churned the oil. Then, firefighter Randy Stewart demonstrated the proper technique, aiming an extinguisher and sweeping the spray from side to side. The fire was out in seconds.

The demonstration was part of prevention week, which started Sunday. Capt. Keith Gautreau, the department’s head of fire prevention, said simple devices like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are proven to save lives. People shouldn’t leave the kitchen when they’re frying, grilling or broiling food, he said, and they should always make sure flammable objects like pot holders are kept away from the stove top.