you out west to show you a rare, extreme wild fire burning homes in utah, which created a kind of tornado, a twister, that can make a dangerous situation much worse. Abc's alex perez shows us what... See More
you out west to show you a rare, extreme wild fire burning homes in utah, which created a kind of tornado, a twister, that can make a dangerous situation much worse. Abc's alex perez shows us what happened next. Reporter: The flames moved in within minutes, giving those living in this community just west of salt lake city little time to get out. By the time I got home, it had spread up to my canyon, and my son is at home by himself, so I had to go home and get him. And they wouldn't let me up. Reporter: A lightning strike is believed to have ignited the fast-moving blaze, torching through 1,500 acres. About 250 evacuated families still don't know when they'll be allowed back home. Crews have been working around the clock to douse the fire, now about 25% contained. Making their job harder, these fire tornadoes or fire whirls, whipping around creating twists that can help the flames spread. Those twists in the atmosphere form when cooler air meets that intense heat. The difference in pressure between the two air masses accelerates and tightens into a tornado-like structure made up of fire. And fire teams can usually do nothing but wait for these fire whirls to put themselves out. The blaze spreads so quickly, here more than a dozen homes were damaged within hours. This massive fire whirl outside l.A. In 2009 lit up the sky as more than 100,000 acres were scorched. This one in australia, flames high. Those whirls can last anywhere from a few minutes to more than half an hour. Making an already difficult job for firefighters even tougher. Alex perez, abc news, wanship, utah. And now, there is a drama
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