The name originates from steam-powered vehicles. The firewall would separate the driver from the fire heating the boiler.
In aviation, a firewall on an aircraft serves a similar purpose to that of a motor vehicle. In single-engine aircraft it is the part of the fuselage that separates the engine compartment from the cockpit. "Put the throttle to the firewall" refers to setting the engine to run at maximum speed. In most multi-engine propeller aircraft the firewall typically divides the nacelle from the wing of the aircraft, or divides the nacelle into two zones.
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