Image description: The Capitol Christmas tree was lit last night and holds more than 5,000 ornaments and LED lights.
This year’s tree is an Engelmann spruce that was harvested on November 1 from Colville National Forest in Washington. The ornaments were handcrafted by Washingtonians and celebrate the state’s history and culture.
The Christmas tree will be lit every day from night fall until 11 p.m. from now until January 1.
Photo from the National Forest Service.
Image description: The Capitol Christmas Tree is making its journey from the state of Washington to the District of Columbia. You can follow the tree’s progress on its trip across the country:
Read more about the tree’s journey.
Image description: Personnel on the USS Lexington celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus. Photo taken in December 1944.
Photo from the National Archives
On Christmas Eve, NORAD tracks Santa on his trip around the globe.
Water Your Christmas Tree
From the U.S. Fire Administration:
The video clip illustrates what happens when fire touches a dry tree. Within three seconds of ignition, the dry Scotch pine is completely ablaze. At five seconds, the fire extends up the tree and black smoke with searing gases streaks across the ceiling. Fresh air near the floor feeds the fire. The sofa, coffee table and the carpet ignite prior to any flame contact. Within 40 seconds “flashover” occurs - that’s when an entire room erupts into flames, oxygen is depleted and dense, deadly toxic smoke engulfs the scene.
Christmas trees account for 240 fires annually, resulting in 13 deaths and more than $16.7 million in property damage. Typically shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. Dry and neglected trees can be.
Video from the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology