Terrifying video shows a 'fire tornado' ripping through the Australian countryside as devastating fires ravage the country

YouTube/3W-NewsA still from a video showing the fire tornado.
  • A terrifying video shows Australia’s one of raging fires creating a tornado filled with fire.
  • Filmed on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, the video shows the terrifying weather event, created as high winds combine with bushfires.
  • A similar so-called “fire tornado” killed a volunteer firefighter in a different part of Australia on Monday.
  • Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third-largest is a potentially vital koala breeding ground, but it is now ravaged by two large fires, leaving only two towns left declared as safe.
  • One fire on the island was declared “virtually unstoppable.”
  • The fires devastating Australia have burned more than twice the area burned in the Amazon last year, killed at least 19 people, left dozens of people missing, and killed almost half a billion animals.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A terrifying video shows a so-called “fire tornado” forming on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island as the country is ravaged by devastating bushfires.

The video shows fire roaring through trees and grass, creating huge, towering plumes of smoke as a bystander films beside an empty car.

At times, the smoke gathers in tornado-style columns, pulling the flames up into the column and creating what looks like a tornado filled with fire.

You can watch it here:


Experts say that tornadoes only officially occur when connected to a thunderstorm, and the sky is too filled with smoke in the video to determine the weather conditions. But the term is casually used to refer to such incidents.

They can also be extremely large and dangerous – a fire tornado flipped a 10-tonne truck on Monday, killing a volunteer firefighter who was tacking the blaze near the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

28-year-old Samuel McPaul, whose wife was expecting their first child, was killed.

A spokesperson for the Rural Fire Service said the truck was hit by a “freakish weather event that had to be seen to be believed,” and said it was best described as a “fire tornado,” The Guardian reported at the time.

It’s not the only terrifying weather event the fires are creating. They have become so large that they’re creating their own weather systems, including generating lightning that can create new fires.

Kangaroo Island, off the coast of Adelaide, is Australia’s third-largest island. It’s currently battling two major fires as part of the devastating bushfire season that has gripped Australia.

Kangaroo IslandSinéad Baker/Business InsiderKangaroo Island is off the coast of Adelaide.

The fires have razed 14.6 million acres since September – more than twice the area that was burned in the Amazon rainforest in August 2019, which prompted global outcry.

At least 19 people have been killed, dozens of people are missing, and thousands of homes have been destroyed. Almost half a billion animals are also dead.

Kangaroo Island is itself home to thousands of koalas, and was previously described by academics as potentially vital for “the future of the species.”

The South Australian Country Fire Service described one of the Kangaroo Island fires as “virtually unstoppable.”

People across of the island are being relocated while police declared just two major towns as the only safe areas safe,Adelaide Now reported.

Smoke from the island’s fires has reached all the way to the mainland.

Country Fire Service chief officer Mark Jones said of the Ravine fire: “The conditions as well as the severity and size of the fire means that the fire is virtually unstoppable at the current time.”

Temperatures in Australia have risen, contributing to a prolonged drought that aids the spread and formation of the fires.

  • Read more about Australia’s fires:

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