1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkH5I0lXiFs

    Why do you sometimes see unburnt trees next to a burnt down house?

    Conspiracy theories would say that this is because the houses were actually vapourize with beams of energy from space. But the actual reason, as many people have pointed out, is simply that the wood in the houses is dry, and the wood in the trees is wet.

    If you don't use a wood fire in your house this might be a bit hard to understand, so I set out to do an experiment to demonstrate this.

    First stop was my attic, which, like most new houses in California has an internal frame of 2 by 4s.
    There was a bit of scrap wood left over from construction. The same wood as the frame of my house, so ideal for testing.

    Then out back to chop a live branch off a tree, and then I chopped both the attic wood and the live wood into pieces about the same size.

    Cutting to size:

    I then built a symmetrical fire from kindling and put the live wood on the left and the attic wood on the right. I lit the fire, and fed it more kindling when it went out.

    It was very obvious that the live wood never caught on fire, whereas the attic wood started burning almost straight away.

    The end result was that the live wood just got a bit sooty, and the attic wood was burnt through.


    [Update Dec 14 2017]
    A few people have pointed out there are other factors in my test besides simply water content, namely:

    Wood Density - The live wood is oak and the attic wood is a conifer, probably Douglas Fir. Oak is denser than pine, and is harder to burn even when dry. However it's also still a typical type of tree in California. Doug fir has a density of 33 lb/ft3, oak is between 37 and 56.

    Bark - The tree has bark, which protects a bit from the fire.

    Shape - A square cross section will burn better than a round one.

    None of this invalidates the point - in fact these are additional factors that show how the wood in a typical California attic is much more flammable than that wood in the trees around the house. The attic wood is about as flammable as you get, it's light, bark free, with sharp corners. And of course it's also really dry.

    Admin: This post is from Dec 11, but summarizes some material in the thread below, so has been moved to the top and backdated for position.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  2. novatron

    novatron New Member

    So I've seen this claim floating around facebook this week, people are using these images as proof that "energy weapons" were used by the government to destroy California towns, as opposed to it being caused by forest fires. They say the proof is that there are still trees standing while all the structures are burned down, and the cars have melted. Here's one example from a post I saw.

    I'm trying to find a good explanation as to how trees survive fires, especially in the 3rd image below, how do you explain that one?

    [first post btw- I really appreciate this forum, thanks for all the work you guys do!]


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2017
  3. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    This photo is actually from 2015


    I'd say that the burnt structures here are were potentially more likely to have burning embers settle on them and get caught up in corners where they can start a fire than trees with wind blowing through them. Note that there's nothing on the ground to allow fire to spread. Just speculating though
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  4. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    The text on this photo says "Fire destroyed the Arby's, left, McDonald's, right and Applebee's in Santa Rosa, CA. "

    That area looks to be well outside of the danger zone (I've marked it with a black dot)


  5. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    it's right next tot he Coffey Lane area. which is his first pic I believe


    pretty sure I read in one of the articles the Kohl's (the largest yellow square which is to the left/north of the arby's) burned too. My theory is the blowing embers too. Trees are not as dry as buildings.

    this page https://weather.com/photos/news/california-wildfires-aerial-photos has some fascinating photos of the Coffey area.. one house is burned literally in half and the other half looks fine (from a tree top aerial view, anyway}
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  6. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

  7. Miss VocalCord

    Miss VocalCord Active Member

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  8. sharpnfuzzy

    sharpnfuzzy Member

    Ever tried lighting a large healthy tree on fire? It's not easy. Healthy trees are full of water and you need a significant amount of heat to overcome that. That's why no one uses freshly cut logs as firewood, instead it's left out to dry for a while or "baked" before being used.


    On the other hand drywall, plastic, etc have very little water content and are relatively easy to light on fire.
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  9. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    If it’s useful, I’ve used this study to counter claims that ‘normal’ car fires can’t reach the +600°C temps needed to melt aluminium. It has ~800°C recorded at the tyres.

    None of the pictures I’ve seen shared show melted steel, though they claim to.

    There’s also plenty of images of burned-out cars on Google with melted wheels, though very few where the alloy has ‘run’ so much. That makes sense as the heat would be localised, unlike these fires where whole areas went up in flames.


    Ray Von
  10. Ross Marsden

    Ross Marsden Senior Member

    This is fairly well known fire behaviour in Wildland Urban Interface areas.

    Here is a discussion about it:

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  11. DJC

    DJC Member

    if the pic on the top of the car is real .those rims melted to a liquid ..people use aluminum rims for fire pits that burn close to 700 degrees for hours and they dont even bend ...and there is no ash or anything in the parking lots to assume those fires started by burning ambers ...this is really strange .and how can a fire turn a house to ashes and not even singe the leaves on the trees ..?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2017
  12. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    There are several explanations and references in the posts about your's. Did you read them?
    Do you think they are wrong?
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  13. derwoodii

    derwoodii Senior Member

    Its complex but more often structure or buildings dont burn due to direct heat during fire storms they catch alite by embers blown into or under eves, roofs and then the buildings burns down. The trees nearby may be scorched but if/as species with high water content and low leaf flammability they dont catch alite look un affected


    this is an example of ember attack from 2003 Australia and can see some trees still un burned in vid ( a surprise even for me ) as OZ trees after decade of drought in the case of the Vid are more often high flammability

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzqC_8D12U0
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  14. derwoodii

    derwoodii Senior Member

    i think you'll find that the car rims used for pit fires are steel not aluminum. I have on my wall melted alloy of brother in law car wheel rims from 2009 fires down here but his other car parked beside had steel rims & they did not melt..
  15. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Post-fire drone footage shows PLENTY of burned trees !!
    The few trees that survived, stand out among the ashy landscape, so people focus on them.

    Living trees are about 50% water.
    Homes are dry.
    Therefore, homes are more flammable.
    Also keep in mind, these are healthy urban trees, and receive ample (extra) water from their homeowners. These trees don't suffer from drought as much as trees in the forest, which rely on seasonal rain for their water needs. Also, urban trees often have a layer of concrete nearby, preventing nearby ground water evaporation.

    If you've ever been camping and tried to start a campfire with fresh tree fronds, you realize it's almost impossible. You need to use the dry/dead parts of tree matter.
    (Bear Grylls, if you are reading this, your methods are not getting through to people !!)

    Controlled forest burns by the Forest Service, the BLM, etc. (USA) are an example of this. The dry/dead material on the ground burns, while the green and living trees above it, do not (most of the time).

    Many people are misled, and think the evergreen Christmas tree in their living room will "easily" turn into a ball of fire. After every holiday season media videos demonstrate this.
    But Christmas trees "become" dangerous over time, because they sit in people's living-rooms for 2 weeks or more.....drying-out, reducing their water content (the water-pan just slows the process). The videos demonstrating this fire danger, are of trees that have dried-out.....and a dry/dead Christmas tree IS a real danger because most of it's water has gone away.

    If a fire is hot and steady enough, it can and does burn entire living trees, but only when the fire below the trees begins to kill and dry the tree above, by evaporating the tree's water content.
    Many (most ?) of the surviving trees seen in the drone footage, were well away from the homes, or didn't have hot fire blowing onto them. The winds in this fire likely saved a few trees, by not allowing hot fire to contact the trees......and conversely, many trees were lost because the winds blew hot fire directly onto them.

    Another misconception is...
    "but trees are full of sap, and sap is extremely flammable".....which is untrue.
    People confuse "sap" and "resin". Sap is mostly water. Resin is found in small amounts on many parts of plants and trees, and the tree produces extra concentrated resin to help the tree seal any of it's wounds. Seeing occasional tree resin, does not mean the tree is full of resin.
    Maple syrup is sap, and it's certainly not "flammable". Maple sap is ~98% water when extracted directly from the trunk, just beneath the bark. It's then heated to evaporate extra/unwanted water, to about 33% water content. I could not get my maple syrup to ignite....there's still too much water in it.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  16. novatron

    novatron New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2017
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  17. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i actually watched a video where he tested an alloy rim fire pit and it didn't burn. it reached about 650 F. The difference, I imagine, with the above car pic (taken in 2015) would be the whole car was on fire, including the rubber tires.

    heres another car from Tennessee 2016. http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/tennessee-forest-fires-liquefy-aluminum-rims
    and 2014 http://rebrn.com/re/took-this-on-the-jobmelted-alloy-wheelfire-is-hot-613256/

    so @DJC the "premise" that there is anything suspicious about the pictures you are seeing is debunked by the fact that you can find similar photos of melted alloy rims (or hubcaps) and 'healthy' looking trees near burned out buildings .. so either every fire throughout history is "fake" or there is nothing suspicious about the OP photos.

    ex: Colorado 2012
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  18. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    Yet the thin steel body panels remained intact. Odd that
  19. derwoodii

    derwoodii Senior Member

    odd yes and more odd this picture is from 2015 event not the recent 2017... A well used CT method is create a picture collage to persuade viewers of authenticity.. I seen far to many dead fish pictures with no connection to Fukushima

    Photos From the Lake County Valley Fire
    By KQED News StaffSEPTEMBER 14, 2015

    Melted metal flows from a burned-out car abandoned on a highway during the Valley Fire in Middletown, California. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

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  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    Or going further back in time:


    That's the aftermath of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, in Victoria, Australia. From http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/421153/australias-worst-bushfires/

    From the same site: Como, New South Wales, 1994:


    Kinglake, Victoria, 2009:

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  21. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    As mentioned in post #2
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  22. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    A relevant extract from an aluminium industry fact sheet: (emphasis added)

    Also some discussion of using alloy wheels for casting on this metal-casting forum, which indicates that a normal wood fire can be plenty hot enough to melt the aluminium:

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  23. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    That would be strange, given that the melting point of aluminium is ~650 degrees centigrade.

    What can we deduce from this? That it’s likely that a wheel used in a fire pit didn’t reach temperatures that exceededed its melting point, although the fire itself may have? That the alloy used for that wheel had a higher melting point than aluminium alone? That there’s a difference between a fire in a wheel and a wheel in a fire, particularly when the latter is encased in rubber?

    Or that a shadowy agency are using forest fires as cover for testing a super-secret weapon which has the same effect on cars as a 15 year old TWOC’er?

    Ray Von
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  24. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    If you do a google search you can find pictures of melted aluminum wheels all over the world. They all seem to be the result of wildfires rather than ordinary isolated car fires. So, why is this the case?

    A car is full of inflammable fluids. But in the usual situation a car fire is put out by firefighters.

    In a wildfire the car is left to burn, for hours. Eventually rubber lines are going to fail. Gasoline and brake fluid are the two that I think are the most important.

    While most of the brake lines in a car are metallic there has to be a flexible connection at the wheel, because the wheels move with the suspension. There are rubber (plastic) lines at each wheel.


    When those fail, inflammable fluid is going to pour out.

    The gas tank is metallic but also has multiple rubber or plastic hoses and fittings that will fail. Now you have gallons of gasoline that can fall out or boil out. That's a lot of potential energy.

    I suspect these inflammable fluids are mainly responsible for the high and sustained temperatures needed to melt these aluminum wheels. I don't think it's the wildfire alone that's responsible, as is implied in many news photo captions. But the wildfire can certainly add heat.

    Lastly. Aluminum is very conductive and will conduct heat away from a spot source of heat. But, the tires completely surround the rims and don't allow the heat to be conducted away. The tires are also burning. I don't know how hot tires burn. I suspect there isn't enough potential energy in a tire to melt the rims. But a burning tire would certainly be a good insulator; not allowing heat to be conducted, or radiated, away from the aluminum rim.

    To sum up, I think there are four reasons we see these melted aluminum wheels in wildfires:

    1. Fire burns undisturbed for hours.
    2. Inflammable liquids produce high temperatures.
    3. Burning tires don't allow heat to be conducted away from rims.
    4. Wildfire is adding heat through convection and thermal radiation.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  25. Nada Truther

    Nada Truther Active Member

    Does anyone... CT person or rational person... have any reason why the govt. would use mystery space age energy weapons to destroy a couple of fast food places that are not entirely near the area that is on fire? If the theory is floating around, there must be some hypothetical reason that they might do it. Right?
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  26. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    Probably the simplest deduction: people probably use steel rims for fires, not aluminum. Aluminum rims are expensive and can be worth a fair amount just in scrap value. They're usually decorative to some extent, being formed rather than having a hub cap (steel rims do this also sometimes). Every fire pit rim I've seen is one of those cheap black steel rims you see on discount retread tires or hidden under hub caps.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  27. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    There is at least one YT video specifically testing whether you can use an aluminum wheel as a fire pit. You can.

    The video author uses an infrared thermometer temperature gun during his experiment. At one point the caption reads...

    He gets various readings, all of which are well below the melting point of aluminum.

    He doesn't realize that these guns are essentially infrared light meters, and measure an area that's a lot bigger than the dot of the laser pointer. The fire is going to have spots that are hotter and colder and the rim is going to have areas that are hotter and colder. So these readings he's getting aren't precise at all, or very meaningful. What we do know is that the rim never melted.

    But this isn't the same situation at all as in these car fires. The fire is small and doesn't release the amount of heat needed. The heat is mostly rising up and away from the rim. The fire is on one side only, not surrounding the rim. Aluminum is conductive and is moving heat away from the rim's inner surface. The outer surface is not surrounded by a tire, or fire, and is losing heat through convection and radiative cooling.

    And once again, I don't think the wildfire alone is melting the aluminum wheels.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  28. DJC

    DJC Member

    I guess this is common ..this is from the Tennessee fires dec 2016


    The liquid aluminum snaking away from the burned-out cars was once the cars’ wheels. Fires-2. The images are fascinating considering aluminum liquifies at 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit.

    “Imagine the sheer amount of heat required to liquify aluminum rims, or a block,” Frederick told WATE 6. “I can only imagine the inferno that was here when I took these pics.”

    Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/tennessee-forest-fires-liquefy-aluminum-rims#ixzz4vtBvzzbA
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  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  30. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    Getting back to the subject in the OP...

    The 1961 Bel-Air fire...

    Zsa Zsa Gabor's house on Bellagio Place


    Cued to helicopter footage. Notice unburned trees and the two intact houses, both with a white roof. Most houses had a wood shake and shingle roof, (which were outlawed afterword). These two had some kind of non-inflammable roof.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  31. M Bornong

    M Bornong Senior Member

    On the same day the Santa Rosa fires started, there was a 300 acre brush fire near the edge of Bakersfield, California, just a couple of miles south of my house.. DSCF1063.JPG

    Note the trees behind the house with nothing but the chimney standing, look pretty much intact.

    The leaves are still green.


    The leaves crumble to the touch.


    I took these photos from the street, outside of the property lines, so I didn't get close enough to see if any metals in the structures had melted.
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  32. novatron

    novatron New Member

    I found these images from the Black Forest fire in Colorado from 2013. These really shows the seemingly sporadic nature of wild fires, and maybe, as Mick pointed out, the efforts of fire fighters. It's all same here as the recent California wild fires- melted aluminum from cars, many trees that survived, even what appears to be surviving forest with structures that burned down along with the under brush.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/news/colorado-wildfires-51761771/
  33. DJC

    DJC Member

    This pic is a little harder to explain .....how can a tree burn from the inside out ? Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.00.41 PM. fire. 171013111957-hollow-tree-fire-california-exlarge-169.

    Attached Files:

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  34. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

  35. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    are you suggesting (as per thread topic) that they hit one tree, in the middle of nowhere, with a Directed Energy weapon?

    Why don't you try googling the answer.. and you tell us how it happens.
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  36. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

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  37. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    I've never seen a tree actually on fire in that manner, but I've seen redwoods that have been hollowed out.


    An oak tree with pre-existing damage...


    Hollow tree on fire, RFD, Riverside, Iowa

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  38. M Bornong

    M Bornong Senior Member

    Diseased trees can have all the inner wood rot out, leaving just the outer layers just under the bark which is the living part of the tree. To my untrained eyes this was a healthy, beautiful shade tree. I had to have it cut down when the trunk started splitting down the middle after a wind storm. You can see a shaft of light that was from the crack that was about 7 or 8 feet up the trunk.

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  39. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    My guess would be that it’s because hollows in trees are normally full of leaves and such (though at my local park people seem to find them useful receptacles for dog poo bags).

    The tree in the video doesn’t look like the burning caused it to hollow, if you look at the bark around the holes it clearly follows the shape, so therefore not new. Likely there were branches there previously that either fell away because the tree is sick, or them falling away damaged the tree.

    Ray Von
  40. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    There's a LOT of YouTube coverage/chatter that "DEW" caused these fires.

    Of the mass of incorrect theories currently shuttlecocked around....one is, that all the car's glass "was melted" probably from microwave energy (DEW).....and people claim "fires don't do that."

    What's frustrating, is that a 10 second google-image search "burnt car", shows that the glass is gone in any every burnt vehicle, world-wide.
    The tempered glass will shatter, and the plastic-laminated windshield will crack, burn, and melt inwards.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2017
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