|"Army makes their metal there. Moved in a few years ago and started gunking up our river."|
|— Dock to Team Avatar about the Fire Nation Army factory.|
The Fire Nation Army factory was an industrial establishment located on the shore of the Jang Hui River. This smelting plant was where the Fire Nation Army manufactured metals for various weapons and vehicles. The cooling system provided by the river water helped in the production of a tough, new metal for armor. However, as a result, the facility dumped a significant amount of waste into the river while large smokestacks simultaneously contaminated the air. To General Mung, this pollution was a small price to pay for creating weapons that could help the Fire Nation win the Hundred Year War.
The factory was built in 90 AG and had an immediate and destructive effect on the surrounding ecosystems. It was the excessive pollution from this plant that led to the plight of the Jang Hui fishing village, where a large portion of the population was sickened by the polluted water and left to starve from the lack of healthy fish.
In 100 AG, the factory was destroyed by Aang and Katara, the latter of whom masqueraded as the Painted Lady, the spirit who protected Jang Hui. However, the pollution remained and the villagers would continue to get sick unless the pollution was cleaned. General Mung, believing the local residents were responsible for the destruction of the facility, sent a team of domestic soldiers to destroy the village. They were defeated by Katara and Aang, the former warning them never to return. The loss of this destructive factory allowed Jang Hui to thrive once again.
The factory was situated at the edge of a high cliff near the Jang Hui River's banks. It had seven metallic sewage pipes, including three built off to the side, that directed waste water downward into the river. Multiple smokestacks of varying heights dotted the factory's roof, the entirety of which was also made from metal. The roof was accessible via two elevated walkways that connected it to the ground.
Directly above the main sewage network were four wide passageways that led to the building's interior, filled with steaming and musty rooms. These rooms all had metal walls and several tools needed for smelting metal. Large sections of the floor were covered by lava, which was used in the production process. However, much of the lava was either concealed by metallic netting or in a container of some sort, such as a bucket. Certain containers could even be found suspended in the ceiling by chains. Also near the ceiling were metal pipes, which circulated gas throughout the factory. These pipes ranged from large to small, though ones closer to the ground were generally greater in size. High walkways and ladders scaled the facility's walls, leading to vast reserves of water that were used to cool the building's furnace. These areas were the only places in the plant which had windows.
- The effects of the Fire Nation factory are similar to the effects of the Chisso Corporation's mercury poisoning of Minamata's villages and wildlife in Japan.
- Its effects also bear resemblance to the pollution of China's Huai River by chemical and smelting plants. The extreme pollution led to blackened water, near total loss of wildlife including fish, and several diseases brought about by polluted air and water.
- Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 5, 2007). "The Painted Lady". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
- From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Fire Nation Army Factory.
- Avatar Extras for "The Painted Lady" on Nicktoons Network.