September 17, 2018 4:26 pm

Incredible fire tornado shocks wildfire crew in northern B.C.

Incredible video shared on social media shows B.C. firefighters in the Mackenzie Unit Crew battling a wildfire AND a tornado near Vanderhoof, B.C. The rotating column of air first swallows the crew's fire hose and then captures flames burning on the ground.


For some B.C. residents it may seem like the wildfire season is over for this year, but fire crews are still battling blazes across the province.

Video captured and posted to social media shows firefighters dealing with a huge blaze near Vanderhoof on Aug. 19, including a fire whirl or fire tornado.

The firefighters were battling the Chutanli Lake wildfire, currently estimated at 20,813 hectares. It is now 95 per cent contained.

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The video, posted on Instagram, was shot by a wildland firefighter, who is part of the Mackenzie Unit Crew.

“Fire tornado destroyed our line,” she writes. “It threw burning logs across our guard for 45 minutes and pulled our hose 100-plus [feet] in the air before melting it. That’s definitely a first.”

In the video, a firefighter can be seen grabbing their hose, which is being pulled high into the air by the fire. A second firefighter rushes in to help.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

The firefighters struggle to grab the hose as it flaps around high in the air.

Next, the video shows the fire tornado, which apparently grew to over 200 feet tall.

There is little the firefighters can do but look on at the rotating column of air and flames.

A fire tornado, which can also be called a fire devil, consists of a burning core of flames and a whirling pocket of air.

It can suck in burning debris and gas and typically last a few minutes, although some last longer.

It is unknown how long this one lasted near Vanderhoof.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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