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The Fire of Orthanc was a type of explosive device that was invented by the wizard Saruman and used by his army to destroy large fortifications. It is sometimes known as a "Blasting Fire", as when Aragorn explains it to Theoden.
Saruman first used the Fire of Orthanc at the Battle of Hornburg, when he successfully blasted apart the seemingly indestructible defensive walls, and again during the Last March of the Ents, as a weapon against the rampaging Ents. It burnt and killed Beechbone and make the other Ents double their effort to destroy Isengard. It is possible that the weapon, or something similar, was used by Sauron during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, as the books state that by magic or technology the ammunition of his catapults caught fire mid-air.
The exact composition of the Fire of Orthanc is unknown.