Katniss quickly unbuckles herself from the tree and run as quickly as she can away from the fire. As she is running she realizes that this fire is no accident but a ploy by the Gamemakers to flush out the scattered tributes. Her jacket catches on fire and while she is putting it out, she starts to vomit uncontrollably from inhaling the smoke. As she starts to recover, fireballs start shooting out at her. She runs trying to dodge them but one sets her leg on fire, burning her calf and her hands. She figures the Gamemakers are making an ironic point for the ‘girl on fire.’ Once the attack is over, Katniss finds a small pond where she uses the water to soothe the burns and spends the day there recovering, falling asleep by the pool.
Later, she hears footsteps and with no other alternative she climbs up a nearby tree. The Careers and Peeta see her there but all of them are too heavy to climb the tree after her. She notices a girl named Glimmer has the bow and arrows from the Cornucopia, which she tries to shoot at Katniss but luckily she is not a good shot. She keeps missing but gives Katniss a chance to grab one of the arrows. The group decides to wait Katniss out at the base of the tree. With no other options, Katniss prepares her bed in the tree. She notices eyes in a nearby tree and recognizes the girl from District 11, Rue. Rue points to something above Katniss’ head.
With the wall of fire pinpointing Katniss, the readers are given a reminder of how little power each of these tributes has over their fate. The Gamemakers have also shown the audience that they do not tolerate rebellion as they literally throw fire at the ‘girl who was on fire.’ By climbing a tree to escape the Careers, Katniss shows the readers that she is resourceful and uses her light weight and speed to her advantage.
Katniss looks up in the tree and sees a wasp’s nest. She realizes that it is probably a tracker jacker net, which is a mutated type of killer wasp created by the Capitol. They will follow anything that disturbs them, and sting with hallucinogenic venom, which will kill if their victim is stung enough times.
Katniss comes up with a plan to drop the nest onto the tributes below by sawing off the branch during the anthem; however the anthem finishes before she has sawed completely through the branch so she decides to finish it off in the morning. Once back in her sleeping bag, she finds burn ointment that Haymitch and the sponsors must have sent her during the anthem. It works wonderfully and in the morning her burns have improved considerably.
She signals to Rue that she is going to drop the nest and hears Rue jumping from tree to tree to get away quickly. She gets stung three times cutting the branch but takes the stingers out immediately. The next crashes to the ground and the tributes are swarmed. Most of the tributes take off for the lake but Glimmer gets stung too many times and starts to violently hallucinate before dying there while another girl staggers off, likely to die in the bushes nearby.
Katniss climbs down and starts to run in the opposite direction but goes back for the bow and arrows that Glimmer had. She struggles to get the weapons free from the girl when she hears someone approaching. To her surprise, it is Peeta who yells at her to run and shoves her. She starts to hallucinate badly from the venom and collapses into a small pit and passes out with her last thoughts marvelling that Peeta saved her life.
Katniss again proves her resourcefulness and her ability to survive despite being trapped by several people bigger and stronger than her. This situation showed Katniss that she could trust Rue, since Rue risked being seen by the Careers to help Katniss. Katniss also gains an understanding of Peeta and his allegiance to her since he warned her about the Careers returning and helped save her life.