We don’t watch much network TV and tend toward cable. Two of the Science channel shows we enjoy is “The Unexplained Files”, another is “What on Earth”. The reason we like these is they find and show some really odd things, then set about with a variety of science and other experts trying to explain what is seen. In a case like I’ll get to in a moment, it’s truly weird and in other cases after exhausting all sorts of angles, if they can’t figure it out, they admit that rather than try to “force” an answer.
So, there was a lake near Bardstown, KY were not only was fire burning in multiple patches on top of the water, there was a 100+ foot pillar of flame. None of the firemen who responded had ever seen anything like it and they literally didn’t have the resources to put it out. The most they could do was protect the surrounding trees. Among the experts they went to (I don’t recall his exact field), was a guy who explained about “fire tornadoes”, then actually created one in his lab. Apparently, when wind conditions are precisely aligned, it can create this phenomenon. Not only does it look exactly like a tornado, it also burns hotter than most fires reaching up to 1,000 or more degrees. In this case, the way the trees were around he lake contributed to a “funneling effect” of the wind. While that explained the tornado, the next question was fuel. After all, there can be no fire without fuel,especially not with it burning on top of water. The obvious first answer is oil of some type except that wasn’t the case here.
Ready for this? Bardstown is home to some of the largest bourbon warehouses in the country. One of the warehouses with hundreds of thousands of gallons of bourbon had caught on fire from severe lightning strikes. Firefighters eventually got it under control, but what no one realized was a large quantity had drained out and the small lake was downhill and away from the warehouse. That was what later ignited in the lake and was feeding the fire. What a sad day for bourbon lovers.