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What are fire tornados
posted September 5, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Fire Tornados

Wildfires are devastating, dangerous, and deadly. They can cause widespread destruction, damage to homes and property, and even the loss of lives.

But what happens when a wildfire meets a tornado? A fire tornado is born.

Fire tornadoes, also known as fire whirls or firenadoes, are a rare weather phenomenon that occurs during a wildfire. In this post, we’ll inspect these terrifying weather events and everything you need to know about them.


A fire tornado is a spinning vortex of flames, heat, and smoke ranging from a few feet to over a hundred feet in diameter. They occur when intense heat and wind from a wildfire create a vertical column of air that rises, twisting as it goes and drawing in oxygen.

The result is a powerful swirling gust that can carry burning embers and debris, causing damage and spreading fires to areas that have yet to be burned.

How Do Fire Tornadoes Occur?

Several factors are required to create a fire tornado — the most critical of which is wind. As winds whip through a wildfire, they make different areas of pressure. This change in air pressure causes the spinning motion that develops in the vertical column, forming a vortex of air and flames. The heat from the fire also creates an updraft, which pulls in the surrounding air, making the fire tornado even more severe.

How Dangerous Are Fire Tornadoes?

Fire tornadoes are incredibly dangerous, primarily because they can occur unpredictably and grow quickly within minutes. Not only can they cause a significant amount of damage, but they can also pose a severe threat to life.

The hot gusts of air can knock people off their feet, while the embers they carry can ignite new fires at a distance. They can also make it almost impossible for firefighters to get close to a wildfire, putting them in danger.

How To Stay Safe During A Fire Tornado

If you ever find yourself in an area where a fire tornado can occur, there are some precautions you should take to stay safe:

- Avoid the area entirely and stay indoors until they declare the situation safe.
- If you must be outside, always carry a protective mask, as the smoke and ashes can get into your lungs and cause damage.
- Stay vigilant and watch for any signs of a fire tornado, such as smoke columns that are twisting or rotating.

Can Fire Tornadoes Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, fire tornadoes cannot be prevented, but can be managed with proper wildfire prevention methods:

- One of the best ways to prevent wildfires is by ensuring that they entirely extinguished all campfires before leaving the area.
- Be cautious when using equipment that could cause sparks — such as chainsaws, grinders, or welders.
- Be sure to follow local laws and regulations regarding open flames, such as burn bans.



When it comes to natural disasters, losing one’s home to a fire tornado isn’t expected. However, with climate change, several incidents of fire tornadoes have been reported in recent years.

And when it happens, the question that comes to mind is: does home insurance cover the damage caused? So now that you know what a fire tornado is and what causes a fire tornado, we’ll explore whether home insurance policies cover fire tornadoes.

Home insurance can cover several weather-related damages, including wildfires and tornados. For example, if a fire tornado strikes your home, you’ll receive coverage for the damage caused to your property, other additional structures, and belongings.

Additionally, your insurance policy will pay the repair or replacement costs for damaged items as long as the policy covers these damages.

Homeowners Insurance & Fire Tornadoes

Another factor to consider for homeowners coverage of fire tornadoes is the location of your home. Your insurance policy premiums may be higher if your property is in a high-risk area for fire tornadoes and wildfires. Discussing these risks with your insurance agent to ensure adequate coverage for any potential damages is crucial.

It’s essential to remember that not all home insurance policies offer the same coverage. Therefore, you must review your policy carefully to ensure you have the required coverage. For instance, you may need additional coverage if your insurance policy doesn’t include fire, wind, and tornado damage. Again, check with your insurer if they offer remarkable riders or endorsements to add this coverage to your policy.

Aside from your standard home insurance policy, consider purchasing one that explicitly covers wildfires and tornadoes. These policies are great options if you live in high-risk areas, as they often offer more extensive coverage than traditional home insurance policies.

While fire tornadoes might seem like a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie, they’re a genuine and dangerous natural occurrence that can have severe consequences. It’s crucial to be aware of their dangers and take the proper precautions to stay safe. When looking at standard homeowners policies, remember they usually cover damages caused by fire tornadoes.

However, reviewing your policy carefully and ensuring you have adequate coverage for weather-related damages is essential. Ultimately, if you live in areas with high risks for tornadoes or wildfires, investing in the right home insurance policy will help you protect your home and assets, giving you peace of mind in unforeseen circumstances.

If you need help finding the best homeowners insurance coverage for the best price, start by speaking to a SimplyIOA agent at 833.872.4467 or get a homeowners insurance quote online now.

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