Bizarre Fire Tornado Filmed Ripping Through Farm In Brazil
The footage was reportedly captured on Tuesday during a fire on a farm on the banks of the GO-210 highway in Santa Helena de Goiás, Brazil.
The clip shows the huge whirlwind of flames towering above some nearby farm machinery, completely dwarfing trucks that have parked up close to the blaze.
The 'tornado de fuego' (which roughly translates as 'fire tornado') was thought to have been controlled by local officials, but further incidents were reported and filmed later in the week.
According to Peruvian newspaper La República, two days later a second tornado of fire was reported during a fire in a cane plantation near the GO-325 road.
The newspaper also reported that Brazilian firefighters have said the tornados can reach up to 80m high, with Aporrea.org claiming that they have an average height of 10-50m.
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In general they also have a diameter of 0.3-0.9m - although there have been previous reports of whirlwinds 10 times as wide - and they can also apparently repeat winds of 160kmph, persisting for more than 20 minutes.
According to National Geographic, fire tornadoes occur when 'intense heat and turbulent wind conditions combine to form whirling eddies of air'.
These eddies can tighten up into a tornado-like structure, in turn sucking up the burning debris and combustible gases around it.
Each fire tornado - also known as a 'fire whirl - consists of a core, which is the part that is actually on fire, along with an 'invisible pocket of rotating air that feeds fresh oxygen to the core'.
Jason Forthofer, a mechanical engineer at the U.S. Forest Services's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana, told National Geographic that the temperature inside the core of a fire tornado can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius), which is hot enough to potentially reignite ashes sucked up from the ground.
He said: "We're not totally sure about that, but it's one theory.
"It's like if you've ever seen anyone try to burn cooking flour: If you puff it up enough in the air, you can actually burn it. But as it sits compacted in a lump, it won't burn."
Forthofer also believes some fire tornados can grow more than a thousand feet (300m) tall.
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