Speed Reads

Nature's Wonders

Rare 'firenado' caught on camera in Missouri


Jenae Copelin of Chillicothe, Missouri, was on her way to buy new shoes for her children when a funnel of fire made her stop the car.

"I looked over here and noticed most of this field was on fire," she told Fox 4 in Kansas City. "The Instagrammer in me wanted to pull over and take a picture. The fire whipped up into that whirlwind. It was intense."

The "firenado" is a phenomenon that's caused when cool air above the heat of a fire starts an updraft, Fox 4 meteorologist Mike Thompson explained, and this fire was set by farmers burning off old crops. After Copelin snapped the picture and uploaded it to Instagram, she was shocked by the amount of attention it received. "It makes you realize how small the world is with the internet and Instagram and Facebook and all that," she said. The farm, owned by 85-year-old Frances Dominique, was never in any danger during the controlled burn.