From the text... 'Fused inorganic tubes caused by lightning strokes to the ground, called fulgurites, are abundant in many portions of the earth. Ample evidence of fossil fires, called fusain, lies buried in the coal beds of all the coal-forming periods known to geology. For more recent geologic times, evidence of ancient fires can be found in peat. Lightning and fire scars have been identified on petrified trees. The geologic record even finds collaboration from the genetic record. Komarek has observed that 'the antiquity of fire seems apparent in that the most ancient of tree families, such as the conifers, and the apparently oldest genera of grasses, such as Aristida, Stipa, Andropogon, etc., have the greatest concentration of those genes responsible for resistance and adjustment to a 'fire environment.'' Komarek has also suggested that intense lightning bombardment (and, indeed, intense fire) might act as a mutagenic agent, accelerating fire adaptability in zones of heavy lightning fire. The contemporary geography of lightning and lightning fire is equally impressive. Lightning behaves like other natural eruptions of energy. It exhibits a large number of discharges but a relatively small number of really intensive displays -- a pattern that is repeated by lightning fire and by fire behavior. Komarek has tried to demonstrate some typical meteorological conditions that can distribute lightning to various regions of the Unived States. In one study he traced the passage of a cold front from Canada to Florida from April 30 to May 16, 1965. Using data only from national forests and grasslands (except for Florida, where full records were available), he identified 47 lightning fires -- 6 in South Dakota, 5 in Tennessee, 4 in Virginia, 3 in Nebraska, 2 in Georgia, 1 each in Michigan, West Virginia, and North Carolina, and a whopping 34 in Florida.' ©1982 by Princeton University Press.