Is there an in-setting explanation for how dragons breathe fire?

I’m currently in the process of writing a new campaign setting in which many classical mythical creatures have been rendered extinct for various reasons, one such creature is the dragon.
My initial idea was that some sort of event or evolutionary flaw in the past stopped dragons being able to breathe fire, making them far easier for adventurers and dragon hunters to kill off, similar to how the Dark Souls series made dragons extinct by removing their scales (the things which made them immortal), perhaps a plague removes the dragons’ ability to breathe fire, weakening them?

In an attempt to make this less jarring to players than just saying “they get ill, no breathe fire now”, I’d like to base the effect off of dragon lore that exists across the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Is there any in-setting lore explanation for why dragons breathe fire/acid/(insert damage type here)?

I know 5e is particularly sparse in dragon-lore, so I’m hoping some veterans from older editions might know more about these classical creatures!

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What happens when the Immolation spell is cast on a creature immune to fire damage?

I am already aware of the question “Does a creature that is immune to all outcomes (conditions, damage, etc.) of an effect still make a saving throw?” and also “Is a creature immune to a spell’s damage type immune to the spell’s other effects?” but I’m unsure how to tell if effects of a spell are “linked” or not. For example there have been the questions “How does a ghost’s Horrifying Visage aging interact with immunity to the frightened condition?” and “Does immunity to fear prevent a mummy’s Dreadful Glare from paralyzing a character?” where it is contentious whether or not the effects are linked and even whether or not the target makes a saving throw at all.

And thus I am wondering about the immolation spell which states:

[…] The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. On a failed save, the target also burns for the spell’s duration. The burning target sheds bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet […]

Assuming the target is immune to fire damage, what happens when they are targeted by immolation? Do they shed light if the fail the saving throw? Do they make a saving throw at all?

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Can you set fire to beer barrels?

Scenario:

A large amount of barrels filled with beer are at the entrance to a path into the mountains, three trolls protect it. As other troll creatures approach they are given a barrel and they head down to the ‘event’

Question

The players have a plan to set fire to it, to cause a distraction I know that spirit based alcohol is flammable and would go up with a bang.

The wooden barrels are flammable but I can’t find out if beer is? as the ABV would potentially be something quite low 3.6% to 4% I am not sure it would burn quickly

Can I burn my enemies to ashes with fire spells?

People die and bodies burn to ashes when you burn them. I don’t want to see my enemies corpses burning, I want to see them turned to ashes immediately without resorting to disintegrate and similar spells, only instantaneous fire magic like Fireball, Firebrand or Meteor Swarm.

How much fire damage do I need to cause with my fire spells to make an alive enemy burn to ashes in an instant?

Is killing enough (reducing to -10 hp)? I suppose it isn’t. Then reduce to -30 hp? More? Less?

Counter to Focus Fire

My Problem is split in two parts, Realism and Counterplay.
I am DM and every fight my Party take one target and focus this enemy down, in best case they get the target down and there is no way to heal or recover the target between the turns. I understand its a pretty simple but effective way to win your fights, and deal with heals.

My Problem with Realism:
In reality you cant just ignore 3 other enemies to kill one of the four, because your “open” backs would result in 3 death allies.

My Problem with Counterplay:
The Party has a lot of sustain and small selfheals, so everybody can survive pretty good on its own. Its a invitation to do the same, because they could not do anything to rescue a focus fired ally. But this would pretty sure, kill one of the party.

How can i deal with this problem, mostly annoying is – that they know(more or less) i would kill somebody if i do the same and abuse the situation (not intentionally)

Thanks a lot for ideas.

Are there any conflicts with casting Fire Wings while Wild Shaped?

I have the natural spell feat already. I was curious if there were any rules about layering transmutation spells and the wording of said spells interacting with a druid’s wild shape ability.

Spell in question, with the bit that caught my attention:

Fire Wings (Spell Compendium, p. 93) (Transmutation [Fire]): In a flash of light and a roar of fire, your arms become wings of flame … If you are not flying, you can make up to two attacks each round with the fire wings as if they were natural weapons. A successful attack deals 2d6 points of fire damage.

Because replacing the 2 claws of a wild shape with 2d6 fire damage phoenix wings would be a cool spell interaction. I’m just not sure if there’s a solid rule on layering transmutation spells or if the spell’s specific wording of “arms” would throw the issue.

Monster with resistance to bludgeoning and fire damage from nonmagical weapons have resistance to a warhammer’s bludgeoning but not its fire damage?

My friend has an enchanted silvered warhammer that grants it +1d6 fire damage. We’ll be fighting a fiend soon with resistance to fire and bludgeoning damage from nonmagical and non silvered weapons.

My friend’s warhammer makes half bludgeoning damage and full fire damage to the fiend?