A Terrifying 30-Meter-Tall 'Fire Tornado' in Australia's Outback

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Filmmaker Chris Tangey captured a rare phenomenon on video last week: a vortex of flames rising up from a wildfire. Also called "fire whirls" or "fire devils," the tornadoes form when an updraft of air interacts with a fire to create a spinning column. Tangey's footage, via his YouTube channel, is protected with a watermark, but you can see the video sans text in the 7 News video below. 

In the broadcast segment, the filmmaker describes the scene:

It was a dance of giants in front of me. I've never seen anything like it. It was awe-inspiring ... We saw a red tornado, a black one, a white one, and then several made of pure fire. It was 50 meters at its base of fire, spinning, with fire, and it was actually picking up mulga trees.

Via The Guardian and Garance Franke-Ruta. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2012/09/a-terrifying-30-meter-tall-fire-tornado-in-australias-outback/262587/