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(Don't) Make Your Own Fire Tornado

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the adut-supervision-please dept.

Idle 86

Flash Modin writes "In the last two weeks, both water and fire tornadoes have been widely covered by the media. As any physicists would have, we immediately thought 'I want to do that!' SO... You should absolutely, under no circumstances, not attempt to recreate the following fire tornado; but if you did, here's exactly what you would need, how you would do it, and what it would look like."

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There's an easier way... (5, Informative)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547204)

The version in the story is too complicated, but there's an easier way. The catch is that it has to be really cold outside... I'd say at or below freezing.

All you have to do is acquire a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter. A zippo lighter works best. Spray a puddle of lighter fluid on cold pavement. Light the fluid (may take a while, it's difficult to ignite when cold). Once it's burning, stand back and spray a steady stream of lighter fluid into the flames. After a spray or two, a fire tornado will develop. I've made fire tornadoes that were an inch or two thick and at least ten feet tall.

Re:There's an easier way... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547288)

+5 Interesting but Insane

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33547350)

just don't forget the blowback arrestor.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548386)

+5 Interesting but Insane

Yeah, no crap. My parents are ER physicians, and I can't tell you how many serious burns are caused by people squirting fluid into an open flame. The flame catches the stream, and burns back into the vessel. You can imagine the rest.

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548762)

You can imagine the rest.

No I can't. There's no oxygen in the bottle. I can see people being burned by spraying too much out and creating a fireball, but I'm having trouble envisioning a scenario in which the bottle explodes without already having been on fire long enough to melt through the plastic.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549314)

Actually in the case of a bottle of lighter fluid there can be oxygen in there that was just sucked into the bottle from repeated squirtings.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33549460)

One person from my family suffered terrible burns (85% 3) from an accident (work related). He was treated in a special hospital. There the doctors said that the most common cause of fire accidents were people trying to lit their barbecue from bottles.

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549470)

You can imagine the rest.

No I can't. There's no oxygen in the bottle. I can see people being burned by spraying too much out and creating a fireball, but I'm having trouble envisioning a scenario in which the bottle explodes without already having been on fire long enough to melt through the plastic.

Just because you can't envision how it happens doesn't mean it can't happen. It's not that the flame burns up the stream while your squeezing. Its when you stop squeezing the can and it sucks air and burning fluid up into the can. I have a co-worker whose kid did this and the can exploded and gave him 2nd degree burns plus a few cuts on his hands from the metal.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558890)

The key is in how you work. If you have a decent squirting bottle (thin stream) and squirt with high pressure it can be done quite safely. You must also be careful when you stop: you should stop fast. Do not let the stream falter when you stop. You must try to prevent the air from drawing back into the bottle by keeping the bottle in shape.

The problem is: most people are not able to do this properly (and/or are drunk) when they try. They let air into the bottle and squirt air out again. The fluid makes a nice spray of droplets which ignites very fast. The shock of that causes the user to loosen the pressure on the bottle and suck in the flaming droplets. The pressure builds in the bottle and within a couple of seconds the bottle can explode.

So: If you know enough about physics and use that knowledge you can be safe. You just can't play with fire, be drunk and be safe.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33547422)

I've made fire tornadoes that were an inch or two thick and at least ten feet tall.

That is not enough. It needs to be bigger. Much, much bigger!

I propose an oil drum with vanes cut from the top part, bent to make a fan. Put it on a stable, rotating stand that you can calibrate to less than a millimeter off the center of gravity. Fill it with gasoline, spin it with the power of a drill.

Set it on fire and stand far, far back when you plug in the drill. Most likely when the flames are the highest the barrel will destablilize and turn the entire area into a gigantic fireball.

I have an irresistable urge to build this device. :3

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547802)

That is not enough. It needs to be bigger. Much, much bigger!

seems like parent AC needs a concrete mixer truck

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549216)

The things the Mythbusters guys like to blow up?

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33551068)

It would be much cooler with a abstract mixer truck.

Re:There's an easier way... (3, Insightful)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547712)

Ah yes... I seem to remember this particular method resulting in second degree burns on two of my friends when the fire flashed back to the bottle of lighter fluid and exploded.

Not recommended. Steady streams of flammable liquid connecting flame to a fuel bottle is a stupid idea.

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Insightful)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548442)

No, you are making that up. Lighter fluid isn't very explosive. The little plastic bottle doesn't contain enough oxygen to cause an explosion. Good luck getting the flame through the tiny spray nozzle while spraying fluid out of it. Physics are against your story. While calling shenanigans on this I figured I'd consult youtube. If this were possible, there would definitely be videos. The only videos are the tins of lighter fluid literally doused and burned from the outside in. Totally different, that features boiling fluid exploding a tin.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548614)

It's only when some jack-ass refills the bottle with gasoline, that you run into trouble...

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Informative)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548840)

If this were true then welding torches couldn't exist. The nozzle itself prevents the flame from traveling to the reservoir. Doesn't matter that it's plastic, what matters is that it has no oxygen flowing through it, and it also absorbs any heat before it can flash back. Steady streams of flammable liquids are relatively safe as long as you don't light yourself on fire.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33549498)

"A flashback arrestor or flame arrestor is a device most commonly used in oxy-fuel welding and cutting to stop the flame from burning back up into the equipment and causing damage or explosions. " -- Wikipedia

No, that's what allows welding torches to work safely.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

ormondotvos (936952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33550732)

Uh, you never ran an acetylene torch, ever, did you?

Re:There's an easier way... (0, Flamebait)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33550842)

You had an acetylene bottle explode and are here to talk about it! My hat is off to you friend.

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Informative)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551944)

It's not the nozzle on a welding torch. Flashbacks into the mixing body of the torch are fairly common. Usually, there is a "pop", followed by a whistling, and the torch gets real hot real fast. However, if properly set up, there is a flashback preventer where the hoses attach to the torch that contains a brass screen. It's the screen that blocks the flame.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33549000)

Yes definitely made up. So many people tell that same story or "know" someone it has happened to. Hairspray torch works the same way, flamethrowers, etc... The flash back thing mostly happens when some jackass is pouring gas onto open flames out of a container. For some real dangerous flaming fun try the super soaker flame thrower http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc3vcXp_7O8 [youtube.com] That lazy susan tornado is completely lame.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551376)

How would it have exploded? It seems you'd lack the necessary oxygen inside the lighter fluid bottle.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552478)

> Steady streams of flammable liquid connecting flame to a fuel bottle is a stupid idea.

Steady streams of stuff are not the problem. Lots of technical applications and my burning of liters upon liters of stuff depend on this.

Once you stop pressing a bottle and you suck air and a bit of lighter fluid back into the bottle the problems can start. If the stuff is still burning once it's back in the bottle, you have a problem.

Re:There's an easier way... (4, Funny)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547740)

I worked at a small airport, and trained as crash crew.

Part of the training involved a six-foot-square metal pan full of oil, which the instructor lit.

It was while standing there with the hose, hand on the lever but thinking that the foot-thick tornado of fire towering over me was way too beautiful to put out, that I realised I maybe wasn't the best person for the job...

Re:There's an easier way... (2, Interesting)

Desert Raven (52125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548832)

Not uncommon for pyromaniacs to become firefighters.

In rural areas, a number of arson cases end up being traced back to volunteer firefighters. Most commonly involving abandoned structures or barns.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33552470)

> In rural areas, a number of arson cases end up being traced back to volunteer firefighters. Most commonly involving abandoned structures or barns.

Clearly, this can not happen in areas that are not rural.

Re:There's an easier way... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548896)

It was while standing there with the hose, hand on the lever but thinking that the foot-thick tornado of fire towering over me was way too beautiful to put out, that I realised I maybe wasn't the best person for the job...

I'm not quite sure you'd have the same reaction if said flames also constituted an immediate threat to your and others' life.

Whoosh!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33549722)

That “whooshing” sound you just heard were flames drafting over your head.

Re:There's an easier way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33547900)

Notes:

1. Careful not to set friends, animals, houses or lawns ablaze accidentally. All it takes is one misplaced squeeze of the lighter fluid bottle and someone or something is unintentionally on fire.

2. This will reduce the life of your pavement. Disregard this if it is your parent's pavement you are ruining. They should have paid more attention to you, anyway!

jet propelled bottle (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566386)

get a can of alcahol-butane mix, e.g. Lynx deoderat.

get a plastic bottle, not to big.

spray a moderate amount (not too much) deoderant into the bottle. (hot days are best).

wait.. a tiny while.

place bottle on ground

ignite opening

jet propelled bottle!

Make sure the screen is really secure... (4, Funny)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547206)

We're using Play-Do!

Not just water and fire (2, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547230)

I would watch those videos if they weren't wrapped into a shit tornado also known as Adobe Flash.

Re:Not just water and fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548650)

Shoulda bought an andrioid :-P

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

ischorr (657205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548868)

Sorry troll, iPhone plays it just fine.

And sorry parent troll, but that video also plays just fine as Webm. Or flash.

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549592)

Oh, I can play it without using flash? How?

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

BehrA (1668015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549924)

There's an app for that.

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549958)

What's the app called?

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551888)

Android.

Re:Not just water and fire (1)

Drakino (10965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33550260)

Any number of ways, depends on how you want to do it.

iPhone - Just works, all YouTube videos show up as playable due to the device pulling the H.264 version inside an MPEG container.

Android 2.1 and below (aka, ~70% of the Android platform) - Pretty much the same as the iPhone

Android 2.2 (a tad below 30%) - install Flash, or keep using the old method

Firefox - The popular way seems to be with Greasemonkey and scripts to pull down the same H.264 file. Google search Firefox youtube no flash

Chrome, Safari - Just enable the HTML 5 version. http://www.youtube.com/html5 [youtube.com]

Opera and Firefox 4 will get WebM versions via HTML5, but not many of the videos are transcoded yet.

Awwww (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547234)

C'mon. This is the internet. Blowtorch. Blower fan. Bottle of oxygen.

GO!

THE CITADEL IS GONNA BLOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33547236)

What the hell are you still doing in city 17?!

You call that a flame tornado? (5, Informative)

NetDrain (167337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547238)

Here's a real flame tornado: Nate Smith, a gent I know personally, doin' his thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qulN52bR9vk [youtube.com]

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547328)

I want to see a flame hurricane, can you forward the suggestion for me?

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (4, Funny)

NetDrain (167337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547404)

Get on /b/ and post a video of yourself punching a kitten.

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548032)

Happy to oblige - http://www.srl.org/machines/flamehurricane/. All you need are several pulse jets with 150lbs of thrust each!

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548898)

"I want to see a flame hurricane, can you forward the suggestion for me?"

You came too late. You should have been at Dresden by mid forties!

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33550132)

would you settle for a flame tsunami [xkcd.com] ?

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33561570)

The safe and sane method I learned in Hollywood is to use compressed air to spray Lycopodium pollen into the air, and we used rubber cement for ignition. The rubber cement didn't blow out from the wind, and it was utterly controllable with a flick of the air valve. We made some little bitty 30-foot fireballs &c., but really the sky's the limit on this. A neighbor told me about working on a movie called "The Thorn Birds" where some rookie director insisted on setting a real fire for authenticity in his big climax. Not only were the flames less impressive, but a lot of people were nearly killed by the firestorm which ensued.

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547346)

now That is sweet XD and much bigger then the one posted here...

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

caladine (1290184) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547610)

Where's my (+1, awesome) mod?

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548194)

Thank's for showing me the video I thought I'd see, FTA (if you can call it that...) was lllaaammmeee.

Re:You call that a flame tornado? (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549466)

That. is. awesome.

strange brew that's also good for you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33547406)

That would be home made Kombucha.

Mentos (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547548)

When started to appear the mentos on coke videos in internet, suddently a lot wanted to try that, but the consequences of doing it wrong or unsafe werent so bad, even funny sometimes. But if this goes viral, well, the darwin awards will have to open a special chapter.

Re:Mentos (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548054)

Yeah, this whole thing is a perfect example of how intelligence doesn't necessarily correlate with wisdom.

Re:Mentos (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551324)

Oooh... The mentos thing with a flammable liquid instead of coke and dissolved oxygen instead of CO2.....

Bigger, stronger, with more destructive capability (1)

quintessencesluglord (652360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547576)

Back before I knew such things existed in nature, I had the idea of hopefully causing a fuel/air explosion with a regular tornado.

The idea was to pump a bunch of fuel into a regular tornado and ignite it, theoretically causing the tornado to dissipate.

Unfortunately a lack of funds and people brave enough to man the trebuchets kept me from my plan.

But it just seems more _eventful_ than a lazy susan and lighter fluid.

Yes, my house insurance has extra coverage.

Re:Bigger, stronger, with more destructive capabil (1)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547752)

You mean like this?: http://www.xkcd.com/748/ [xkcd.com]

More power (3, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547586)

Have some friends help you flip the family car on its side. Securely fix the lower driven wheel to a stake driven into the ground next to it, or through its spokes to prevent it turning. Put a board to act as a turntable on the upper driven wheel and repeat this experiment with much more lighter fluid while someone revs the car in drive to make the plate spin at tremendous speed. This combines a reduction in reasonableness with more danger.

Re:More power (2, Informative)

theReal-Hp_Sauce (1030010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33547810)

Don't forget to use a car with an oil pan/lubrication system that is designed to work at all angles.

Otherwise you will be purchasing an engine rebuild from your local mechanic before you get bored of the fire tornado.

-hps

Not bad (3, Interesting)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548116)

But this one's bitchin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8kQbGa72tM&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:Not bad (1)

Flash Modin (1828190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548156)

I don't think the wet sponge and lighter fluid technique would work for that.

Re:Not bad (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548190)

That looks like it could be this sort of structure: http://www.mrsciguy.com/box.html [mrsciguy.com]

Re:Not bad (1)

Flash Modin (1828190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548256)

I was wondering how best to add a cow into the fire tornado.

Re:Not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33553174)

Looks very familiar -- Rotherham, UK: http://www.visitmagna.co.uk/content/58/fire-pavilion

Oh crap....... (1)

spazekaat (991287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548230)

Awwww..my weekend is now fsk'd up.....I thought it would be fun to have a mini tornado to play with!

Fun With Cremora (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548304)

As many of you probably know, Cremora is highly flammable. A friend of mine once filled a coffee can with Cremora and placed a common butane torch beside it (with the flame burning over the can). Then he fed an airhose into the Cremora, the other end of which attached to a compressor. With everyone well away from the coffee can, he turned on the compressor. The resultant fireball was about 20'-25' in diameter.

Re:Fun With Cremora (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548908)

Shhh!!! Don't tell people about that! There are already people on slashdot who think lighter fluid is extremely dangerous! I hope nobody mentions hand sanitizer napalm, then we would be in trouble!

Re:Fun With Cremora (1)

Flash Modin (1828190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549100)

Actually hand sanitizer doesn't work, the flame is too hard to see.

They did it wrong (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33562016)

Sorry I didn't read to here before I posted above. If they had shot the air across the TOP of the powder, then the venturi -like effect would have atomized the particles properly, the igntion would have been nearly instantaneous, and they wouldn't have wasted hundreds of pounds of powder creating a smoldering mess around their device. This has been done for years, and the flame can be turned on and off at will. I suppose Cremora is cheaper than Lycopodium powder. It looks like maybe I should set up a proper demonstration for the YouTubes. I might try something with Aluminium dust, but I don't want to get Homeland Security all excited.

The mythbusters have to try this! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548360)

The mythbusters have to try this!

Re:The mythbusters have to try this! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549372)

What myth will they be busting?

Re:The mythbusters have to try this! (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551336)

Well... the myth of... umm...

Ah! The myth of securing wire mesh with Play-Doh of course!

The 10 meters high tornado of fiery death will be a logical follow op for them :)

Cool Clothes bro! (1)

damianesteves (1748428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33548618)

Why's this guy dressed like Billy Mays / Blockbuster employee?

Is this at the country club? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548798)

Pretty sure this is against Country Club rules.

Ok. I was hoping for more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33548878)

I was hoping for a lot more than this. I mean come on. I've seen super kewel vortecies created by taking 2 2litre plastic coke bottles (or any 2 litre bottle), filling 1 about half full of water, and connecting the two together with a "tornado tube connector"(tm) and swirl the water in the bottom bottle around. Then turn the bottles upside down so that the full bottle is on top (actually you don't really have to start the water swirling, it will start on its own). Presto-Chango and voilà! Instant tornado! (Note to all Road Runners and Coyotes: No "Acme Instant Tornado Seeds"(tm) [looneytic.com] required.

RE: (Don't) Make Your Own Fire Tornado (1)

insnprsn (1202137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549188)

Well, that was impressively unimpressive.

Reminds me of toothpick plasma (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549820)

This fire tornado thing reminds me of toothpick plasma [youtube.com] . Not the same thing, but seems to be about as neat.

Yet another classic with LOX (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33549944)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjPxDOEdsX8 [youtube.com]

ANd of course there is one you really should *never* do unless you are Hunter Thompson: bottles of propane, a large caliber rifle, and a packet of nitroglycerin.

easier than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33550554)

Almost any liquid fuel will make a nice fire vortex. And liquid powered fire vortexes run really well, because they create a mist of fuel droplets that gets carried up into the vortex, where they provide a lot of updraft.

People actually do this for a living: http://www.reelefx.com made the fire vortex for David Copperfield, for instance.

There was also an article in Amateur Scientist decades ago about it.

Company made GIANT versions of this (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551358)

Back in the days when I used to design theme parks (fun profession!) I used to work with a company (Spectra F/X) that made these.

Most spectacularly GIANT versions of these flame tornados were used in Universal Studio's attraction "Backdraft" based on the movie of the same name. At least that what I think it was named; the title was about the hazard a firemen faced when entering a burning building that suddenly gets an influx of more oxygen. Anyway, the attraction is pretty impressive lots of real, hot fire and exploding oil drums (relatively) near you. If you're in Los Angeles you might want to go see it. Even though you definitely feel the heat from the flames and explosions, I think the safety record is quite good (haven't heard of any accidents).

The company designed and built this and a lot of other flame effects. I got to see one of their flame tornados being built and tested out in the cavernous workshop; i wished i had taken a closer look at this engineered device, it looked like a turbine and was roughly the size of a large trash can. (Believe me, it was engineered, this company built a lot of safety critical stuff in its day). A long time ago it won the Oscar for special effects for the movie "Ben Hur". Unfortunately it went under about 10 tears ago.

If any of the Spectra F/X guys are reading this, I'd like to say hi! (TK in CGI).

LAME-O (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33551952)

Sounds looks like a mind freak. Big build up, no pay off

That's not a tornado. THIS is a tornado! (3, Interesting)

PeterPiper (167721) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556332)

It was a few decades ago, but in my teens I had occasion to spend a weekend at a fireman's weekend where a great many and varied workshops were being given on any number of esoteric aspects of firefighting, and some of the more mundane. I took some of the mundane workshops on forest fire fighting and such. But I made my weekend more of a relaxed affair so I would have time to wander and see what everyone else was up to.

One group was busy creating fire tornadoes, and putting them out. But what I am referring to here, is nothing at all like what is featured in this video, or anything at all like Hollywood has ever dared venture.

The group was training in how to assault oil fires and extinguish them with a water hose, which is no mean trick. To make matters more complicated for them, dead center of the oil fire was a husk of tanker truck tank. This sat in the middle of a concrete pool ~10 meters square (30' x 30'). The pool was filled with six inches of water. The instructors would dump a full oil drum of oil into the pool, creating an oil slick that covered the entire surface. The training crew ready, they would toss in a match.

Now THAT is a fire tornado!

The result was a literal tornado of fire, a veritable solid pillar of flame that would do Moses proud! Thirty feet in diameter, this vortex roared so loud you could barely hear the shouted commands of the fireman as they assaulted the monster. It ripped and twisted, the spiraling cylinder reaching easily a hundred feet or more, straight up. The flame was dense red, and so intense there was nothing opaque about it. Pure fire, at it most intense.

I sat there for hours watching as they put it out, and lit up another, over and over.

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  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>