Fire Tornado(!) Caught on Film

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Regular tornados are terrifying enough, but have you ever heard of one made of fire!? Fire whirls, as they are known, are one of nature's rarest sights but luckily, a filmmaker was on hand to tape one in Australia this week.

Chris Tangey was out in Alice Springs looking for locations for his latest movie when he was met by a 30-metre high tower of swirling flames. Fortunately, he was at a safe enough distance to stay out of harm's way and be able to capture the stunning spectacle on camera. He described the experience:

"I was about 300-metres away and there was no wind but the tornado sounded like a fighter jet. My jaw just dropped. I've been shooting in the outback for 23 years and I have never seen anything like it. We've heard about them but they're never seen. It's a once in ten lifetimes experience."

These rare events occur when a column of warm, rising air either causes or comes in to contact with a fire on the ground. The rising, swirling air then sucks up the fire, with spectacular and sometimes devastating results. Unsurprisingly they can be very dangerous if they come into contact with people or buildings, and one name for them is simply ‘fire devils'. Although they usually only last for a couple of minutes, amazingly this one went on for more than 40 minutes.

So, without further ado, here is the video you all want to see:


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