Environment

A rare and epic ‘firenado’ was caught on video over the weekend. Here’s how they form

A brush fire turned into a “firenado” along the Colorado River on Saturday as shocked bystanders filmed the horrifying blaze.

An Arizona couple was driving near the state border of Blythe, California on Saturday when they came across the flames.

What started out as a brush fire turned into a “firenado,” or a fire tornado, before it spun across the water and formed into a waterspout.

Boaters and people on jet skis drove through the rushing water as the brush fire continued to build nearby.

Firenados can form out of the combination of winds and the extreme heat of wildfires, when hot, dry air rises rapidly and forms into a column.

As the column spins, it picks up embers and debris, becoming a blazing tower of fire that can be hundreds of feet tall.

They move quickly, reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 degrees Celsius), and can cause severe damage despite only lasting a few minutes.

On the day of the Blythe firenado, the temperature outside hit 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in Blythe with winds hitting 20 miles per hour (32 km/h), according to The Washington Post.

As the brush fire grew, the firenado blew smoke 25,000 feet (7.5 kilometres) into the air.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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