Hot & Twisted: 9 Amazing Fire Tornadoes

A Brazilian Tornadoes!

(image via: Carbon Based)

A tornado is defined by the AMS Glossary of Meteorology as “a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground and pendant (attached) to a cumuliform cloud.” This accurately describes most large fire whirls occurring in natural settings unaided by human activity. Standing almost too close for comfort in this flaming field near Aracatuba in the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo, one can easily see the strong relationship between typical tornadoes and fire tornadoes. Check out this 2010 video of the fire whirl in action.

California Whirls

(images via: Strange Dangers and

Coastal California’s unique environment isn’t only conducive to a great lifestyle, it’s also ideal for wind-blown fires and accompanying fire tornadoes – and the latter definitely don’t complement the former! Various photographers have documented some truly spectacular fire tornadoes over the past decade including those shown above, and anyone eager to watch fire tornadoes form, fade and reform along a fire-swept ridge should click here.

Blazing Seattles

(image via: Stayton (Oregon) Daily Photo)

OK, it’s actually rural Oregon but that’s close enough for a reference I’ve been saving for quite a while. Kudos to photographer Terri Jo Adams who happened to be in the right place at the right time, camera in hand. “A rare opportunity arose to capture a field fire twister in action,” explained Adams, “amazing isn’t it?” No argument here!