70°

Topics

Great Chicago Fire (1871)
California fire tornadoes catch the eye, but just what is a 'firenado'?
California fire tornadoes catch the eye, but just what is a 'firenado'?

While crews continue to battle raging wildfires in San Diego County, many on social media have been highlighting the tornado-like flaming vortexes captured in photos from the front lines. Known in the science community as a fire whirl, on social media they've become popularly known as "fire tornado" and "firenado." But a host of studies over the years have shown fire whirls are nothing new. In fact, the phenomena have been documented, and feared, for more than 100 years, according to a 2012 article in the Journal of Combustion. A fire whirl during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 threw burning planks of wood more than 600 yards ahead of the main blaze, helping...

Loading