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Notch has just implemented lightning. I'm now too terrified to open up my treehouse map in case a storm burns it to the ground! Is this possible?

Update

I've unanswered this question, now that fire behaves differently in 1.6.

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And now I regret turning my buddys area into an ALL wood area. Ohh well. Atleast it was griefed by natural causes. –  user19605 Feb 8 '12 at 4:58
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4 Answers

up vote 27 down vote accepted

I just watched a huge treehouse burn to the ground because of a lightning strike. Rain DOES NOT ALWAYS put out fires. Now all my wool pixel art is in danger as well. Had to revert to a backup.

Caught the last few seconds of the destruction. Mind you, this used to be a huge treehouse that spanned at least 64x64 and up to the ceiling.

burning treehouse

burning treehouse

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Well that sucks. –  Keaanu Apr 21 '11 at 20:13
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Ouch that sucks. The fire probably started somewhere where it was sheltered from the rain and grew until the rain couldn't put the fire out. –  Kevin Y Apr 22 '11 at 4:46
    
Argh! I need lightning rods and I need them now! My treehouse is quite a lot larger than that one (was)... –  fredley Apr 22 '11 at 10:27
    
I just returned from 15 minutes of mining and saw my whole wooden building on fire. That sucked. The rain put the fire out after a few minutes when not much was left of the building. –  Exa Apr 26 '11 at 23:21
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Lightning does cause stuff on fire but not 1 piece of fire once in minecraft I saw lightning and it made a 3x3 grid of fire but sometimes the middle does not go on fire

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The simple answer to your question is yes, it does. It's a bit like a flint and steel -- it will light a fire anywhere but only spread on wood and wool.

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In the preview of 1.5 that Notch showed, you can see lightning strike the ground and cause a fire.

However, as per elliya's answer, the rain doesn't always extinguish the fire.

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Blast. Beat me by 8 minutes. –  Raven Dreamer Apr 19 '11 at 14:27
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Is there ever lightning under dry conditions? –  Sadly Not Apr 19 '11 at 14:45
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Also, for those of you who embed YouTube videos, be sure to use the time anchor if you need a YouTube video to forward to a particular moment. YouTubeTime does this for you, in case you don't know how to do it by hand. –  Sadly Not Apr 19 '11 at 16:00
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Oh wow, I didn't realize that and added a time anchor on top of your time anchor, facepalm. Thanks for adding it. :) –  Kevin Y Apr 19 '11 at 17:01
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@Sadly Not According to the MC Wiki page on rain, thunderstorms are a part of the rain weather condition and not their own kind of weather, so I would assume they can only exist when it is raining. –  Kevin Y Apr 20 '11 at 0:51
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