The tree steams as if it is a cold morning. The fire whispers memories of sap life-flow siphoned up trunk, moving water and nutrients from the dark soil to its sky reach crown. In the ember warmth, the tree remembers reaching, always stretching in its life for a firmament that perpetually remains just out of grasp.
The fire-whisper lowers to a hiss then quickens its tempo to a sizzle as flame tongue and teeth begin to find the resin-rich needles. The flame opens its maw, engulfing the tree, swallowing it bottom to top, licking at the night sky now roaring.
Needles ember red and orange; delicate twigs twist like worms. For a moment, the fir is bigger than the span of its branches, wearing a cloak of shimmering flame. Those of us nearby begin to feel our own cells being nipped by the flame, closer and closer to ignition. Then the cloak vanishes, and what is left is the skeleton frame of the tree, blackened trunk, twisted arms still reaching for the sky the flame told it was possible to touch.