Eli5 why does the wii remote work when you put fire in front of it?

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The Wii bar that you put near your screen is just two infra red LEDs, the Wii remote has infrared receivers and is just looking for an infrared source, because anything hot is an infrared source all it needs to be is hot enough.

The receiver does not care how much heat it sees, up to a point. It looks for pulses in the amount of heat it is seeing. If you add background heat, the pulses will look smaller, but as long as the receiver isn’t seeing so much heat that it could not possibly see more, it will still notice that there are some pulses that occur for different amounts of time.