Video: Fire tornado!

If you haven’t seen it already, check out this fire tornado – also called a fire whirl or fire devil – first published on YouTube on September 16, 2012 and becoming much more widely reported today. An Alice Springs filmmaker captured it, while filming in the Australian outback. It has over 1 million views on YouTube now, and deservedly so. Biblical!

Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television was scouting locations near Curtin Springs station in Australia – which apparently is a working cattle station and roadhouse – east of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia. He spotted a small fire was burning in nearby bushland and decided to start filming, when he saw a whirlwind touch down into the fire. He told the Northern Territory News in Australia:

It sounded like a jet fighter going by, yet there wasn’t a breath of wind where we were.

Fire tornado from 2006 via Wikimedia Commons

I had my doubts about this video when I first saw it, but apparently it’s the real deal. Wikipedia has an entry on fire tornados – with more pictures – here. They are a natural phenomenon – akin to a waterspout over the ocean, or what we in Texas call a dust devil. They happen, but catching one on video is rare.

Thank you to EarthSky Facebook friend Anna Garden for pointing out this video!

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Bottom line: Video of fire tornado, captured by Australian filmmaker Chris Tangey and posted to YouTube on September 16, 2012.

September 19, 2012

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Deborah Byrd

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