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The Perfect Firestorm

A wall of fire crests a hill along Bloody Creek Road in Chase County, Kansas. Photo: Larry Schwarm

Smoke billows from a 2006 blaze in Lyon County, Kansas.

Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm

Fire whirls, like this one that hit Kansas in 1994, are formed by a spinning vortex column of hot air and gases rising from a fire that carries aloft smoke, debris, and flame. They range from one foot to more than 500 feet in diameter and can equal the intensity of a small tornado.

Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm
Photo: Larry Schwarm

The Perfect Firestorm

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