Photo of 'firenado' sets the Web ablaze

The photo is real, and the weather phenomenon, while rare, is not unheard-of

Yahoo News

An incredible image of a "firenado," a combination of (you guessed it) a fire and a tornado, appeared on the Web this week and quickly inspired many to wonder if the otherworldly image could possibly be real.

It is indeed. The photo was taken near Chillicothe, Mo., by Janae Copelin and then posted to her Instagram account.

She wrote, "Had such a wonderful weekend, but this had to be the coolest/scariest thing I've ever seen. A farmer burning off his field and as we stopped so I could take a picture the wind whipped up this fire twister."

There were no reported injuries.

Firenados can occur when strong ground-level winds connect with fire, propelling the flames into a twisting vortex that sucks in debris, accuweather.com explains.

While unusual, firenados aren't unheard of. Back in 2012, Chris Tangey, an Australian filmmaker, captured footage of a firenado while scouting locations. He then shared the clips with ABC News. Tangey remarked that it sounded like a "jet engine."

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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