Fire tornado filmed in Brazil

Thursday 09th Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

A rarely seen phenomenon called a fire tornado has been filmed in the Aracatuba district of Brazil. A fire tornado, or fire devil as it is sometimes called, is a phenomenon in which a fire, under certain conditions, forms into a tornado-like rotating column. Fire tornadoes may be whirlwinds separated from the flames, either within the burn area or outside it, or a vortex of flame itself.

Most of the largest fire tornados are spawned from wildfires. They form when a warm updraft and convergence from the wildfire are present. They are usually 10-50m tall, a few metres wide, and last only a few minutes. However, some have grown to over a kilometre tall, with winds of over 160 km/h, and persisted for more than 20 minutes. Events can also aid the 'spotting' ability of wildfires to spread by starting new fires.