Incredible 'fire tornado' phenomenon snapped by Instagram user

Janae Copelin was driving past a burning farm when she spotted a rare 'fire twister' formation swept up by strong winds

Tom Payne
Thursday 08 May 2014 09:59
The snap of the fire twister uploaded to Instagram
The snap of the fire twister uploaded to Instagram

This is the moment a twisting column of fire shot into the sky after a Missouri farmer set his field alight.

Janae Copelin took a picture of the rare phenomenon, which is often known as a ‘fire devil’, after strong winds swept up the flames into a terrifying funnel.

Posting the photo on Instagram, Ms Copelin said it was the “coolest/scariest thing I’ve ever seen”.

“A farmer burning off his field and as we stopped so I could take a picture the wind whipped up this fire twister #nofilter #firestorm #firetwister”, she posted.

The tornado-like fire whirls are created when intense heat combines with strong winds to create a spinning vortice of flame.

They are described by meteorologists as “rapidly spinning vortices that form when air superheated by an intense wildfire rises rapidly, consolidating low-level spin from winds converging into the fire like a spinning ice skater, pulling its arms inward'.

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