How exactly does fire act in Minecraft? Specifically, I'm wondering about things like:

  • Which materials are flammable?
  • Within how many blocks of a flaming block can a block catch fire?
  • When you're on fire, can you set blocks on fire?

Other information would be great too.

  • 2
    I'm also curious if there is any significant difference between how a flaming block and a lava block affect other flammable blocks.
    – sjohnston
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 17:31
  • 2
    There is a question regarding the spread of fire gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/10270/…
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 15:21
  • 1
    Fire hot. Fire burn! FIRE BAD!
    – CyberSkull
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 16:16
  • I Burnt up a tree and when it was almost consumed,it jumped right to another tree that was about 3 blocks away!
    – user51336
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


How exactly does fire act in Minecraft?

Like everything else, fire is a block (even if it doesn't look like it). When created, whether by Flint and Steel or when spreading, fire replaces an air block. Blocks adjacent to the fire have the appearance of being aflame and, if flammable, may be consumed (replaced with fire blocks). If a fire has no flammable blocks adjacent to it, it extinguishes itself after a random time; if a fire also has no block of any type below it extinguishes itself immediately. Netherrack cannot burn away, but a fire on top of it will continue indefinitely and not spread sideways.

Which materials are flammable?

Logs, wood, leaves, wool, vines, fences, wooden stairs and bookcases are all flammable, and TNT will detonate when exposed to fire. Chests can catch fire, but are never consumed. In addition, any items on the ground will be destroyed by fire/lava (or explosion).

Within how many blocks of a flaming block can a block catch fire?

Anywhere up to four blocks.

When you're on fire, can you set blocks on fire?

Not by simply running through them, no.

Some other tasty tidbits:

  • Fire hurts creeps, so a wall of flame (built by putting some netherrack in the ground and lighting them on fire from above) can be useful to protect your base - just make sure you have a way in! Cactii work even better, but they can be hard to find.

  • Not directly related to fire, but tree- and wood-blocks can also be used an inefficient fuel for minecarts and smelting. I believe they smelt 1 block per block of wood; coal smelts 8 blocks per piece of coal; and a bucket of lava will smelt up to 100 blocks per bucket of lava, but it consumes both the lava and the bucket, and you need to keep the furnace filled before the fire goes out.

  • 2
    Also, Cloth is a flammable block. Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 16:31
  • 1
    RE: Fire spreading. I am completely certain fire spreads much father then one block. I just saw my 2304 (48*48) block wood roof burn because I torched a tree that was at least 10 blocks away at the closest point.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 9:00
  • @Zoredache is right - fire and lava have a longer range than 1 block. I can't find specifics, but lava says, "If flammable blocks are within a few meters of lava, they will catch fire." I suspect it's at least four - I've accidentally started forest fires by placing lava fountains, when I was sure it was far enough away from the trees. Wups.
    – Cyclops
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 13:20
  • 3
    Safe distance for avoiding fire is 4 blocks. We've answered this question before.
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 15:22
  • Don't forget that you can use saplings in a furnace too. I think it was that 3 saplings=1 item, or something like that.
    – user28379
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 16:09

Fire can only spread about two block, just like grass. This includes vertically and horizontally.


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