THERE could be few more terrifying combinations.

Intense heat, fire and wind transforming into a tornado-like whirl.

It is a scene that could be repeated in Australia this summer as firefighters warn super dry conditions are creating the perfect scenario for a horror fire season.

Already, California has been ravaged by fires that have destroyed homes and cost lives.

In England, a blaze at a plastics factory in Derbyshire, turned into a tornado-like whirl on August 6 as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

Fire crews from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Staffordshire responded to the fire at the Ravensbourn factory on Occupation Lane in Swadlincote.

The fire involved thousands of stacked plastic pallets and "spread to a small site building and a number of fork-lift trucks."

This footage was shared by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who wrote that a "firenado" "is created as cool air enters the top of the hot air causing a swirl similar to how a tornado is formed."

The fire sent dark plumes of smoke into the sky which spread as far as Nottingham, about 20 miles north-east of the factory, the BBC reported.

'Firenados' are not new, but it is extremely rare for them to be caught on film.

The Conversation explains further the true definition of a fire tornado.

"To answer these questions, we first need to understand a separate - but related - phenomenon: fire thunderstorms, also known as pyro-cumulonimbus clouds.''

"Sometimes firefighters report seeing intense fire whirls - spinning columns of fire - and these are often erroneously called fire tornadoes. But these whirls are directly linked to the ground and to the heat generated by the fire - they are not true fire tornadoes.

"A fire tornado is attached to the base of a pyroCb and, like a true tornado, it is a product of instability, moisture and wind shear. The low pressure core of a tornado is famous for picking up objects or water (as in a water spout).

"But we've now confirmed it can also draw in flames if over a fire front, glowing more than a kilometre into the air."

News Corp Australia


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