Fire whirls — or “firenadoes” — form when heat from the wildfire causes air to rise rapidly. In these areas of turbulent winds the updrafts can spin and gain momentum, developing into a full, fiery, tornado-like whirl that can hurl 2,000-degree debris into the air.
It’s possible the core of the firenado was actually on fire, though there’s so much black smoke and debris outside the core that it’s impossible to tell. Often as the whirls sucks up flammable debris from the ground they will ignite, fueled by the oxygen-rich air above the ground.
As of Tuesday morning the Soda Fire, which as been burning southwest of Boise since Aug. 10, was 90 percent contained thanks to the incredible efforts the 700-person fire management team. The Soda Fire burned over 280,000 acres in the eight days since it began.
More fire whirls: