Rare fire tornado stuns emergency crews trying to tackle deadly forest blaze

A phenomenal video shows a fire tornado tearing through the skies while firefighters battle to control a raging blaze in northern Spain.

The incident was filmed by Leonardo Barreiro Lopez, 37, who has been a firefighter for 10 years and never seen anything like it before.

Officer Lopez was attending a forest fire in Muinos in the north-western Spanish region of Galicia and it ended up destroying around 500 hectares of land.

In the clip, a huge "fire devil" dances in the midst of the devastating inferno, glowing a menacing orange colour as it sucks up more fuel to burn.

The impressive fire whirl, commonly known as a fire devil, occurs when intense rising heat and turbulent wind conditions combine to form whirling eddies of air.

Officer Lopez said: "We were putting out flames in the area when the strong wind was suddenly followed by a strange noise.

"I took out my phone just as the tornado (fire devil) formed.

"It was the first one like this that I’ve seen in 10 years as a firefighter.

"I’ve seen smaller ones, smoke ones, but nothing like this.

"I was standing close to it, but I was in a safe place because the wind was not coming towards me."

He added: “My chief was shouting at me, but I was all right.”

According to the firefighter, the blaze was extinguished after around nine hours but left a trail of destruction.

The affected area was part of the Natural Park Baixa Limia-Serra do Xures which has seen several wildfires since the weekend.

Francisco Infante, delegate of the State Meteorological Agency in Galicia, said: "It was a ‘torbellino’ (fire whirl), caused by the presence of different temperatures.

"These differences cause something like a tornado, a whirl of wind that sucks in incandescent materials and becomes a fire devil.

"They require specific conditions to take place alongside high temperatures, and this blaze burned 500 hectares so it was certainly big and hot enough.

"It is more common than you’d think, but it is rare that someone films it because it happens very quickly and they don’t last long."

Infante added: "The person who filmed it must feel very lucky."

The cause of the wildfire is unclear and is still under investigation.

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