It seems that containing lava in solid glass, stone and iron blocks may not be sufficient to prevent wool from burning, even if the lava is completely encased.


After some delay, it seems that fire will jump onto the wool above the iron.

  1. Are solid blocks more effective than airspace, or not?
  2. If so, Does it matter whether the corner block is filled in?
  3. What are the exact rules on distance that I need, and how can I prevent flammable blocks from being eliminated by nearby lava?
  4. Bonus: Does a flowing lava block behave differently than a lava source block when it comes to fire creation?
  • Related: here and here, but not duplicates at all :) I'm guessing lava shared many properties with fire.
    – Sadly Not
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 17:14
  • I am testing this myself right now, and I will share the results
    – Brandyn
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 9:24
  • @SevenSidedDie This is not exactly true, please, see my answer below.
    – Kcats
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 13:28

3 Answers 3


The wiki is a bit vague in describing where can fire be started from a lava block. The behavior is similar to fire spread, but it is not identical.

When you deal with fire mechanics there are three basic things that can help you understand it:

  1. Fire is a block! Although visually it looks like some block is burning, the fire is an independent block that is adjacent to the "burning" block. Try setting a wooden wall on fire and see how you can take damage as soon as you touch the adjacent to wall blocks, while visually you are still almost one block away from the fire.
  2. Fire blocks can only exist adjacent to flammable blocks.
  3. Fire needs air block to be able to spread with one exception: if a flammable block is adjacent to fire, it can burn out - in this case fire can take the place of the burned out block.

Having said that, fire can spread in a 3x3 column from 1 block below to 4 blocks above it. Fire can jump over gaps and blocks, so you cannot contain it by covering it. Any of the glass blocks here could be turned into fire block, if it was an air block and there were an adjacent flammable block:

Fire spread illustration

Fire can also be born from lava. Fire is always created above the lava position. Fire can be created in a 5x5x2 shape above it (see the example - fire can be created at any of the glass blocks, if it was an air block and there were an adjacent flammable block). To prevent lava from creating fire, cover it fully (3x3) with blocks that have a collision mask.

Lava spread illustration Lava spread illustration

Once a fire is created it behaves like a normal fire and can spread further according to fire spread rules.

In conclusion, this will never burn:

enter image description here

But if you place any flammable block inside this structure, it will catch fire eventually.

  • So it is safe to build flammable walls 3 blocks away from lava, above lava level, right?
    – Orc JMR
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 9:50
  • Yes, it should be, but I'd do some testing first.
    – Kcats
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 10:26
  • 1
    Please explain "blocks that have a collision mask". Commented May 29, 2013 at 16:43
  • 1
    @musicwithoutpaper Those are blocks that are considered 'solid' in game. Those are all full blocks, all slabs, stairs, even trapdoors should work. Blocks that are not considered 'solid' are liquids, redstrone-related stuff (levers, repeaters), torches, ladders, tall grass, vines, mob heads, flower pots etc.
    – Kcats
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 7:35
  • 1
    @musicwithoutpaper Strangely enough, class panes, iron bars and fences/walls are considered 'solid'
    – Kcats
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 9:16

Ok, so i did some test manually, seeing as though I could not find the answer to this on the Wiki. Let the redstone blocks represent where the fire can spread: enter image description here

So basically between these redstone blocks is the Iron. Underneath the iron is LAVA. It spreads adjacent to the blocks. On a 2D View:

b = Fire
L = Lava
I = iron

It would also seem that Airspace is quite useless when it comes to protecting blocks. Also, flowing lava is exactly the same as source lava when it comes to producing fires.


No, I did testing by putting a flire block then a solid block cand then wood... th wood never burned even if i gave it space below it (fire, solid block, air, wood). I am confused.

  • I was using glass.
    – user220012
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 10:05

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