Firewhirl aka Fire whirls, fire tornadoes or firenadoes, are whirlwinds of flame that may occur when intense heat and turbulent wind conditions combine to form whirling eddies of air. These eddies can tighten into a tornado-like structure that sucks in burning debris and combustible gases.
During the 2003 Canberra bushfires, a Firewhirl (fire tornado) with a diameter of nearly 500 metres (1,600 ft) with horizontal winds exceeding 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph) was documented. Another extreme example of a fire tornado from other than a vegetation fire is the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake in Japan which ignited a large city-sized firestormcitation needed and produced a gigantic fire whirl that killed 38,000 in fifteen minutes in the Hifukusho-Ato region of Tokyo.
by DeniseStormChaser April 03, 2014