Pawel Godsforge is a mage famous for his control over fire. He also knows many non-magical ways to fight flames, which he teaches his studends--mages and normal people alike. One of his students is Bennat Ladradun, who comes to Godsforge after the tragic deaths of his wife and children in a fire. Ben studied with Godsforge until he knew all he could learn about fire. After his return to Kugisko Ben used this wisdom to set fires instead of only fighting them.
Pawel Godsforge doesn't appear in any of the novels. However, he is repeatedly mentioned in Cold Fire.