The energy is spread to more particles and shared out among them.
So the heat will start in only a few particles in a small area, then those particles will bang into other particles in the atmosphere, cooling down themselves and heat up the other particles as they go… Hope that makes sense 🙂
When energy hits a molecule, it causes it to move around faster and also the chemical bonds within the molecule vibrate and spin faster. This in turn makes the molecule get hotter so heat energy is transferred from one thing to another.
Did you know that the front of your face has nerves that are very sensitive to heat? So, if you stand in front of a bonfire you feel the heat most intensely in your face. This is a very important protection mechanism for your eyes which can be easily damaged.