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Firenado Spins out of West Point Blaze

10 Sep 2015, 10:34 am

westpoint fire
Mother Nature’s most extreme elements came together in these images out of the West Point Fire in northern Utah on Tuesday.

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A so-called “firenado”, with the appearance of a tornado on fire, was spotted with the blaze about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City on Tuesday afternoon. Although it didn’t last long, members of the Davis County Sheriff’s Office were able to snap these dramatic shots.

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So what causes this phenomenon? Rapidly rising heat within the fire, where temperatures could rise as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, forms an invisible rotating air column that forms the dramatic images spotted in Utah with this fire. Unlike traditional tornadoes, however, a firenado moves from the ground up as opposed to the typical cloud-to-ground formation of a tornado.

According to WeatherNation Affiliate KTVX 4 in Salt Lake City, a 29-year-old man was arrested and charged with starting the West Point blaze that first started early Tuesday morning.

Continued dry and seasonably warm conditions are expected to be in place across northern Utah through the weekend, with potentially cooler weather arriving early next week.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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