TENNANT CREEK, Australia – Dramatic video recorded in the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek in Australia shows the moment a "firenado," or fire whirl whipped up and started spinning across farmland as wildfires burned across the region at the end of October.
Officials said in a Facebook post that the region was under a "Watch and Act" alert due to the fire and warned residents to take precautions to protect their lives and property.
"In this situation, there was absolutely nothing we could do but sit back and watch," Hayes Cook said in a Facebook post.
Cook recorded the video of the fire whirl and posted it online.
He said he and others had tried to protect the farmland, so it was "absolutely heartbreaking to see our past three days of hard work go down the drain so quickly."
What is a firenado or fire whirl?
"Fire whirls are similar to dust devils but are specifically associated with the heat and energy released by a wildfire," the Mojave National Preserve said in a Facebook post earlier this year. "They can range in size from a few feet to hundreds of feet in height, and their rotational speed can vary widely."
Fire whirls can be extremely dangerous for firefighters because they can spread embers across all directions, which can then ignite new fires.
In addition, the fire whirls can change directions quickly, making them unpredictable.