Why don't some trees burn during wildfires? Mother Nature is unpredictable, scientist says

- Drone video taken over Paradise, Calif. shows the devastation of the Northern California town northeast of Sacramento where the state's most devastating wildfire destroyed more than 6,500 structures and killed at least 48 people.

The aerial footage taken this week shows charred buildings, hazy skies and lots of debris.

Yet surprisingly to some, many trees are left standing, their green leaves an odd sight amidst the mostly charred, brown wasteland.

VIDEO: Drone video shows devastation over Paradise

"Very weird," someone posted on Facebook.

"It's super weird," someone else added.

With other fires, conspiracy theories have circulated on why some trees are spared and some are not. On one site, an author wrote that they were vaporized with beams of energy from space.

Peter Stine, a retired research scientist for the US Forest Service in Davis, Calif., told KTVU on Wednesday there are actually scientific reasons why some trees remain healthy during a devastating fire.

After reviewing the video, Stine noted that the trees left standing are mostly Ponderosa pines, which are naturally fire resistant, often more so than the dry wood houses they surround.

And then there's wind directional changes and the unpredictability of Mother Nature.

"Any kind of fire exhibits random behavior," Stine said. "Sometimes it just jumps over the place."
 

This story was reported in Oakland, Calif. 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories