Not all cloud to ground lightning strikes start fires (as the
one above did). Sometimes the location they strike
is too wet and other times the materials won't burn.
Even when the material struck is dry and flammable,
a fire seldom starts.
Lightning strikes that start fires have a higher Amperage
than ones that don't.
Sometimes the differences are visible to the naked eye.
High Amperage lightning strikes take a fraction longer to
disappear often leaving small bits of the strike channel
glowing (best seen when not blinded by the main strike!).
Because the strike channel glows longer, it heats up the
material to combustion temperature.
Lightning strikes that don't start fires are very quick
flashes and then disappear completely.
They don't last long enough to do much heating.
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