Purpose: Firewalking is a common Taoist cleansing ceremony in Taiwan, but burns associated with the practice have rarely been reported. We analyzed the patients with plantar burns from one firewalking ceremony. Materials and methods: In one firewalking ceremony, 12 Taoist disciples suffered from contact burns to the soles of their feet while walking over burning coals. Eight of them had at least second-degree burns over areas larger than 1% of their total body surface areas (TBSAs). The age, sex, medical history, date of injury, time taken to traverse the fire pit, depth and TBSA of the burns, treatment, length of stay, and outcome were recorded and analyzed. Results: Deep, disseminated second- to third-degree burns were noted and healing took as long as three weeks in some patients. Because disseminated hypertrophic scars form after burns, the soles involved regain much of their tensile strength while walking. The patients experienced only a few difficulties in their daily lives three months after injury. Conclusion: From our experience treating patients with deep disseminated second- to third-degree plantar burns caused by firewalking, we conclude that they should be treated conservatively, with secondary healing rather than a skin graft. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.