If this is supposed to be the Norwegian version of the American English saying, it would be: "where there is smoke, there is fire".
It is accepted.
is there any difference between "ild" and "brann" at all?
"brann" is used to refer to the destructive burning of something like a house or forest fire. "ild" is used to refer to the process burning, a (camp) fire, discharging a fire arm and the like.
ah, ok. thus brannmann rather than ildmann :p