Footage of a rare fire tornado forming over Gun Lake in British Columbia has stunned the world watching on as the Canadian wildfires continue to rage on for months.
The fire tornado, or Fire Whirl as it’s called (I prefer ‘firenado‘) is a very rare weather phenomenon that can form due to rapidly changing weather conditions. In this instance, a swift-moving cold front created humid conditions, a reduced dew point, and this was all in the presence of raging wildfires.
A perfect storm of rare weather phenomena led to this fire tornado erupting. And the British Columbia Wildfire Service shared footage of the firenado for the world to see:
Last week, a cold front passed through the province following several days of hot, dry weather. pic.twitter.com/fHbPsizjbr
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 22, 2023
The BC Wildfire Service followed up that X/Tweet by saying “As shown in the video, the combination of high fire intensity, strong winds and air mass instability resulted in the formation of a fire whirl (otherwise known as a fire tornado) over Gun Lake. Fire whirls are vertically oriented, intensely rotating columns of gas and flame.”
If X/Twitter isn’t loading, here is the video on YouTue as well:
The X/Tweet from the British Columbia Wildfire Service has been viewed over half a million times. Pretty much every media outlet on the world has since picked it up and put it on YouTube. With everyone in complete and utter disbelief that a raging fire tornado can be erupting in British Columbia of all places, which is home to one-fourth of the entire world’s temperate rainforests.
People responded with GIFs of the Stranger Things sky monsters. Someone replied “Well this is terrifying.” And there were countless mentions of ‘apocalyptic’ in the comments.
This fire tornado happened on August 18th over Gun Lake in Pemberton, British Columbia. There are currently 220 uncontrolled wildfires in Canada, 100 wildfires classified as ‘being held’, 194 classified as ‘controlled’, and 119 classified as ‘modified response.’
So far in 2023, there have been 5,753 wildfires in Canada. In an average year, there are 1,684 Canadian wildfires in total.