Caught on Camera: massive dust devil

ADAMS COUNT, Col. (CNN) — Firefighters in Colorado were forced to run for cover when a controlled fire spun out of control. A dust devil swept over the fire. The result was a towering whirlwind of flame and smoke that chased firefighters out of the area. One of them was able to catch the amazing sight on camera.

“I’ve never seen one this close,” said Thomas Rogers. In all the years Rogers has been fighting fires, he’s never seen anything quite like this. “There’s nothing you can do except get out of the way and wait for it to calm down.” The prescribed burn, at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, started out completely in the firefighter’s control; but it ended up serving as a reminder that fires can be incredibly unpredictable.

“Fire can change at any time. Even on a prescribed burn, where were in very controlled conditions, the unexpected can happen,” said Rogers. In this case, a massive dust devil interrupted the planned fire. The crews were prepared for that. What they were not prepared for was their own fire getting drawn into the dust devil, creating a moving fire, headed in their direction. The dust devil actually came so close that Rogers and his team had to run for it.

Rogers wants to remind others about how dangerous even controlled burns can be, saying these things can happen any time of the year, not just fire season, “any time there’s heating unstable atmosphere, high winds, the fire dangers very high with wind probably being the biggest component.” This fiery dust devil ended up burning an extra acre on its own. Rogers still blown away  by what mother nature is capable of.

“It was definitely interesting to see. I’m a fire buff as well as a weather buff and here I had a weather event and a fire event coming together and it was just really amazing to watch and I’m just glad I was able to capture it on video.” -Thomas Rogers, Firefighter

This report was filed by Jessica Oh with KUSA in Denver, Colorado, and shared through CNN.

Copyright: CNN 2014

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