Lightning ignites underground gas line

Lightning strikes tree, ignites gas line
Lightning strikes tree, ignites gas line. Cynthia McInturff.

Wildland firefighters deal with a lot of lightning-struck trees, but thankfully they don’t have to worry about buried natural gas lines under their feet.

Earlier this week lightning struck a tree in Mississippi and apparently burst an underground natural gas line. The escaping gas ignited, producing a rather interesting scene.

It was captured on a security camera across the street which recorded the video. The owner of the camera said the lightning strike, “Shook the house and knocked a picture off the wall and broke it.”

Firefighters responded, but wisely did not try to suppress the fire on the tree until after the gas line had been turned off. They probably could have suppressed the flames, but you don’t want a bunch of unburned gas accumulating which could explode if it found another ignition source.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.