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Rare 'fire tornado' filmed in Australian Outback

Tuesday 18 Sep 2012 10:37 a.m.

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By 3 News online staff

An Australian filmmaker has captured stunning footage of so-called ‘fire tornadoes’ blazing through the Outback.

Chris Tangey, 52, was scouting film locations near Curtin Springs Station, around 80km from Uluru (Ayers Rock), when he turned his camera on a small fire burning in nearby bush.

He had only just started filming when twisters appeared and whipped the flames into the air, Northern Territory News reports.

Mr Tangey says the twisters were around 300m away from him and lasted for 40 minutes.

“It sounded like a jet fighter going by, yet there wasn’t a breath of wind where we were,” he says.

Darwin weather bureau forecaster David Matthews says the phenomenon, also known as a ‘fire devil’ or ‘fire whirl’, is unusual.

“The air around the ground becomes unstable so it can rise rapidly. The flames would have assisted by trying to suck in air and that could have helped generate those circular winds,” he says.

Watch the video for the report from Australia’s Channel 7.


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