Watch Ominous Fire Tornado Send Flames and Soot Sky-high in Rural Russia
19:08 GMT 20.08.2021 (Updated: 19:35 GMT 20.08.2021)
© Photo : Twitter / @izvestia_ruMassive fire tornado caught on camera in Russia's Southern Urals. Screengrab of amateur footage.
© Photo : Twitter / @izvestia_ru
Fires have been blazing out of control in the southern region of Bashkortostan, Russia for weeks, affecting both forested areas and plains. Emergency services say six new uncontrolled outbreaks of flames have been registered in the past 24 hours, with an estimated 380 hectares (939 acres or 3.8 km2) of territory in the region on fire.
Rural residents of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia’s Southern Urals have captured footage of a fire tornado rising up through a pasture situated between two villages.
The fire tornado took place Thursday, and began as a result of the burning of grass in the field, with the flames said to have been sparked by unusually hot and dry weather.
The rare phenomenon was captured from multiple angles, with footage filmed by a motorist showing a whirlwind on the field sending flame, soot and smoke hundreds of meters into the air.
The fire whirl occurred in the Khaybullinsky district, situated in Bashkortostan’s south, about 495 km south of the capital of Ufa.
2021 has been a record year for forest fires in Russia, with over 17 million hectares (over 170,000 square km), i.e. more than the entire land areas of countries like Greece, Nicaragua or North Korea, consumed by flame. Environmental monitoring agencies fear that millions more hectares of land will be devastated before the year is through. The previous Russian record for areas affected by wildfires was set in 2012, when 17 million hectares of territory was affected. This year, the most heavily-hit areas have included Yakutia, Irkutsk region, and the Southern Urals.
At the same time that it has faced record-setting blazes at home, Russia has deployed fire-fighting planes to Greece and Turkey to help tackle fires raging in those countries. Last week, a Russian fire-fighting Be-200 aircraft crashed in Turkey, killing all eight crew members (including five Russian military personnel and three Turkish specialists) on board. The authorities' decision to deploy fire-fighting planes abroad while large areas of Russia are also suffering has led to widespread criticism on social media from many ordinary Russians.