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Photos of First Fire-Scarred Petrified Wood

Fire Stone

petrified wood fire scar

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

Once a doorstop, this rosy pink piece of petrified wood, from Utah's Chinle Formation, is actually a one-of-a-kind fossil. The curls of wood on either side hug a fire scar, the first such fossil ever found. [Read the full story]

Bears Ears Buttes

Bears Ears Buttes

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

Consultant Bruce Byers and his father Cleo Byers found the petrified wood 28 years ago while hiking on national forest land near Utah's Bears Ears Buttes. [Read the full story]

Dad's doorstop

Petrified wood with fire scar

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

The 16-pound piece of petrified wood was a sturdy doorstop for 28 years. The fire scar is on top in this view. [Read the full story]

Modern fire scar

fire scar

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

A tree burned by a forest fire shows similar features to the Triassic Period petrified wood. [Read the full story]

Cut and polished

Petrified wood with fire scar

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

After a visit to a stone-cutter and a countertop-polisher, the petrified wood is ready for inspection. The slab shows patterns similar to modern trees burned by fires. [Read the full story]

Fire survivor

tree cross-section

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

A survivor of a modern forest fire, shown in cross-section. [Read the full story]

Slowed growth

Petrified wood tracheids

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

In the petrified wood, microscopic tree cells called tracheids show signs of fire stress. Six to eight rows of tiny tracheids suggest suppressed growth immediately after the fire. [Read the full story]

New find

Petrified wood with fire scar

(Image credit: Bruce Byers)

A huge trunk with a possible fire scar in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park. [Read the full story]