Fleeting firenado caught on camera in California wildfire


A wildfire in Southern California that has already spread to over 4,000 acres created a firenado on Thursday, a rare yet mesmerizing event that's just slightly more believable than a sharknado.

The wildfire has caused Santa Barbara County to declare a state of emergency as the blaze spread over the Santa Ynez Mountains.  The LA Times reports that only 5% on the fire has been contained.

The firenado, which actually isn't a tornado at all, was captured on video in Refugio Canyon, and was formed as the result of hot, dry air rising quickly from the ground, according to Live Science. As the air rises, vertical columns of air are formed which then begin to swirl in a vortex. When these vortexes are formed near a fire, burning material, ash and gasses are picked up, much like a dust devil would pick up sand. 

Firenados typically only last just a few moments, which is why they are rarely caught on camera. 

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