What is a Fire Devil? Rare Phenomenon Caught on Video in Portugal

Fagjun | Published 2017-10-21 18:33
WTF

A rare phenomenon called a fire devil occurred as firefighters battled five different wildfires in Portugal.

 

Uploaded by RT

 

 

It was, for certain, a terrifying sight—like the apocalypse had begun. Fortunately, the end is not nigh—not yet, anyway. Unfortunately, however, Portugal has yet again had to deal with wildfires on the weekend of October 7. In June of this year, the country experienced several wildfires that occurred in central Portugal within just minutes of each other. These wildfires resulted in a total of 64 deaths. Two more wildfires occurred in August, trapping around 2,000 people in their village. At the time of this writing, there are reportedly 11 active wildfires going on in the country.

 

The wildfires have brought with them a strange, rare, and eerie phenomenon. It looks like a tornado made of fire—as if tornadoes weren't terrifying enough. What, however, has led to the occurrence of this rare natural phenomenon? And what exactly is this phenomenon, anyway?

 

What the Fire Devil is Going On

 

 

 

On Saturday evening, the Portuguese broadcaster TVI managed to capture footage of this rare event—a plume of fire rising up and undulating in the air. This is a fire devil, which has a core consisting of ash as well as rotating air. When a wildfire or firestorm manages to grow large enough to generate his own wind, fire devils occur. The wind turns into a fire vortex, which results in a whirl of fire.

 

What happens is that fire and ashes get sucked in by a strong wind, along with gas and burning debris. While's it seems that this phenomenon of fire devils doesn't pose enough of a threat to cause damage, it's still an amazing and terrifying natural occurrence.

 

Do you live in an area prone to wild fires? Fire devil or no, it's still imperative that you do your best to keep yourself safe. Here are some things you may want to consider doing to survive the next spate of wildfires that may inevitably come your way.

Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!