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This trope is quite omnipresent in cultural thought. Red is the colour of fire and even the Sun in most eastern Asian cultures, and has had associations with fire in the western world for several millennia (e.g. most fire trucks). When elements are colour coded, who gets Red? Fire. What colour do fire-powered characters wear? Red.
In Real Life, actual fire is rarely red at all. Most normal flames are either orange or gold (if not hot enough to be blue-violet) with a white center; to get actual red fire requires adding specific substances. In the film Brazil, this is why Sam's scene of defeating the Samurai was quite hard to make, as pure red fire is really that hard to generate without filtering. The reason why fire is associated with red is maybe due to a) embers (finished being orange) tending to turn red and b) the natural tendency of seeing red as a warm colour (despite that it is actually the coldest part of the visible spectrum -- accordingly, the "watery color" of blue fire is much hotter). Another possible explanation is the fact that orange's identity as an individual colour is very recent, and thus older works might use "red" as a placeholder.
As a consequence of this, some works subvert this trope by associating fire with other colours, namely orange or gold. This subversion is Older Than Dirt; ancient Indian (of Asia) traditions used the colour yellow for the Manipura, the fire chakra, while red was reserved for the Muladhara, the earth chakra. The same could be a reason for the existence of yellow (and recently, white) fire trucks, but the only stated reason is for visibility at night.
A subtrope of Color-Coded Elements.