A batch of strong thunderstorms moved through Maine on Wednesday evening dropping downpours, some hail and a few lightning strikes in its path. Typically, the thunderstorms in Maine don't amount to much more than some rumbles and maybe a downed power line or two, but for the Wales Fire Department on Wednesday night, it led to a very strange occurrence.

Shared on Facebook by the Wales Maine Fire Dept, a tree at the corner of Leeds Junction Road was struck by lightning and it lit a rather large tree on fire from the inside out. That is a strange phenomenon that doesn't happen often and is part of the reason the Wales Fire Department decided to a share a video of the incident online.

So how exactly did this happen? According to Newsweek, scientists believe that after a lightning strike, portions of the inside of a tree can begin smoldering. That smoldering can carve a path through the inside of tree, developing a 'natural chimney' and eventually igniting flames. There have been recorded instances where trees burned for days from the inside out until they finally fall.

These types of lightning strikes that lead to internal tree fires can be incredibly dangerous if they aren't put out. In times of drought, it could easily set lawns or brush on fire leading to much larger and dangerous conditions. So while seeing a tree burn from the inside out may look cool, it serves as an important reminder how powerful and destructive thunderstorms can be, even in Maine.


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