WALDEN, Colo. — A firefighter working on the Beaver Creek Fire captured this amazing video of a fire whirl, or fire tornado, that broke out Sunday.
The fire has been burning since June 19 in the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests in Colorado and Wyoming. It has burned more than 36,000 acres and is 44 percent contained.
This video was taken by firefighter Charles Bolt.
The Beaver Creek Fire Information Center provided some background on what causes these tornadoes.
Fire tornadoes are created by hot, dry air rising rapidly from the ground. It picks up burning embers, ash, flaming-hot gases and flammable debris, creating a column of flame that can extend hundreds of feet into the air. Most fire tornadoes last only a few minutes — one reason they’ve been captured on video so rarely. As the hot air rises and cools, its strength diminishes, and whatever fuel creates the fire whirl will eventually burn out.