‘Fire whirls’ spotted at wildfire south of Phoenix

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A "fire whirl" was spotted at the River Fire near Coolidge on Wednesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A "fire whirl" was spotted at the River Fire near Coolidge on Wednesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
COOLIDGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The River Fire near Coolidge produced some extraordinary scenes on Wednesday evening.

The wildfire sprouted multiple "fire whirls."

[RELATED: Brush fire burning south of Coolidge near Picacho Reservoir]

A fire whirl is a spinning vortex column of ascending hot air and gases rising from a fire and carrying aloft smoke, debris, and flame.

Fire whirls can range in size from less than one foot to more than 500 feet in diameter and have the intensity of a small tornado.

[RELATED: Phoenix brush fire produces 'fire whirl']

[RELATED: ‘Fire whirl’ forced crews in Cedar Fire to deploy emergency shelters]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona wildfires]

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