Hot & Twisted: 9 Amazing Fire Tornadoes

Hungary For Oxygen

(images via: The Quirky Globe)

Fighting fires while avoiding hazardous materials is about as tough as it gets for first responders but how many Hungarian firefighters expected this? While tackling a huge blaze at a plastic processing plant in Kistarcsa, a suburb of Budapest, around 70 emergency personnel found themselves confronting a swirling, shifting tornado of fire. The scene recalled some of the enormous firestorms that sprung up in the aftermath of Second World War bombing raids on Hamburg, Germany and Tokyo, Japan.

Burning Man, With A Twist

(images via: Mulling It Over, Tinkervel, Chris-Topher and Loupiote)

The “Burning of the Man” is the unquestioned highlight of Nevada’s annual Burning Man festival but the climactic event often provides a few surprises of its own: fire tornadoes! The series of columns seen spinning off the main pyre aren’t flaming, though they tend to reflect the orange hue of the central bonfire. Instead, these are a form of dust devil created when the sudden ignition of the Man spurs an equally sudden updraft of hot air over the playa. Spectacular and safe – well, relatively so – since multiple flaming fire tornadoes in the center of an impromptu mass celebration might tend to put a damper on the festivities.

Fire Walk With Me

(image via: Michael Holden)

What better way to close than with Michael Holden’s incredible photographic composition, Fire Walk With Me. Holden used a Nikon D80 camera to capture this once-in-a-lifetime tableau of a firefighter in a proximity suit as he seemingly “shakes hands” with a fire tornado. The shot was captured on September 4th, 2011, at the Temple of Transition’s burn at the annual Burning Man festival in northwestern Nevada.