The mechanism of 'fire hose'

Fire cannons are fiery columns of fire that rise very high, move slowly, and people can hardly extinguish it with direct methods.

Fire cannons are fiery columns of fire that rise very high, move slowly, and people can hardly extinguish it with direct methods.

Explore the phenomenon of spooky fire sparks of nature

Picture 1 of The mechanism of 'fire hose' Photo 1 of The mechanism of 'fire hose'
Firefighters look at a fire cannon on the southern flank of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii state, USA on August 29. Fire cannons were created during a fire in a forest of 566 hectares. (Photo: National Geographic) .

Fire cannons - also known as fire or tornadoes - are not rare. However, they are rarely recorded in scientific literature. That is the comment of Jason Forthofer, an engineer specializing in fire research of Montana State Forest Administration. For example, recently fire cannons appeared in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Drought for months in this state has caused many forest fires.

National Geographic said, Forthofer studied " fire demons " to protect firefighters.

' If we can determine the conditions for creating fire cannons, it will be good information for firefighters, because some firefighters have been burned by firefires ,' he said.

Fire cannons appear when strong air turbulence in areas with extremely high temperatures (such as forest fires) and create vortex winds . Those swirling winds can attract burning gases and burning materials. Fire cannons consist of a core (a place that actually burns) and gas around the core. The surrounding air always swirls and provides oxygen to the fire.

The core of a typical fire dragon usually has a diameter of 0.3-0.9 m and a height of 15-30 m. But in favorable conditions, according to Forthofer, the core width of the super large fire hose can reach several tens of meters, while the height reaches more than 300m.

' Super large swirls of fire appear at least once a year in the United States ', Forthofer said.

Picture 2 of The mechanism of 'fire hose' Photo 2 of The mechanism of 'fire hose'
A fire hose moved near a chimney of a burning building in an unknown place in the US in 2010. (Photo: National Geographic).

The temperature inside the core of the fire can be up to 1,093 degrees Celsius - hot enough to burn the dust that the wind draws from the ground.

' That phenomenon is like the sight of us burning flour. If a large amount of flour flies into the air, we can burn it. But we can't burn flour on the ground, 'he explained.

Gases that are likely to burn due to trees release are fuel for most fire cannons.

When swirled by the vortex, flammable gases enter the vortex. When swirling to an area with enough oxygen and high temperatures, it will burn. That's why the core flames rise so high.

' Those gases cannot burn until they blend with a large amount of oxygen. They can only mix with oxygen when they rise up, 'said Forthofer.

Fire cannons don't stand still , but their movement speed is never more than those of pedestrians. They can burn everything on the way and blow things that are burnt to the air.

Wind created by fire can also be dangerous. Large fire cannons can create winds of up to 160 km / h - large enough to knock trees down. Fire cannons can last for about an hour or more and humans cannot extinguish them with direct measures. To quell or reduce the power of fire cannons, there is only one way to eliminate the supply of oxygen to the water cannon.