What's Scarier Than a Tornado? How About a Firenado

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wildfires ravaging the West Coast have created the scary phenomenon of firenadoes - dangerous columns of flame that suck in debris and spew hot embers for miles around.

Firenadoes happen when ground-level winds come in contact with fire and whip it into the air, creating a shocking spiral of bright red and orange.

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They're an amazing sight but dangerous for firefighters, as the tunnels suck in burning debris and can spit embers miles away, enlarging a wildfire's path of destruction.

Most firenadoes are between five and ten stories high and about ten feet wide, according to AccuWeather. They usually last only a couple minutes.

The phenomenon can happen with smoke, too, when spiraling wind creates a smokenado.

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