This is the moment a quick-spinning whirl of multi-coloured ‘tornado’ fire shot into the sky while a farmer was burning off his field.
The natural phenomenon, sometimes described as a ‘fire devil’, was caught on camera in this incredible image by stunned driver Janae Copelin in Chillicothe, Missouri.
The photographer who snapped the scene said the colourful inferno and thick clouds of grey smoke – created when the fire mixed with strong winds – was the ‘coolest/scariest thing’ she had ever seen.
Ms Copelin was so amazed by what she saw that she posted the image on Instagram so she could share it with followers.
She used the hashtag #nofilter – which users sometimes employ to show they have not used any effects to create the image – to emphasise how shocked she was by what she had seen.
She wrote: ‘Had such a wonderful weekend, but this had to be the coolest/scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
‘A farmer burning off his field and as we stopped so I could take a picture the wind whipped up this fire twister. #nofilter #firestorm #firetwister’.
Fire whirls are formed when intense heat and strong winds combine. The dangerous-looking mixture then creates a tornado-like column which whips up debris and other gases.
Ms Copelin later told KMBC news: ‘Thanks to my love of Instagram I chose to drive by and as I stopped to take a picture the wind whipped up the fire into this funnel.
‘The sound and heat were intense and a bit scary not knowing if it would stay put, but it only lasted a couple minutes.’
Fire whirls are described by meteorologsists as ‘rapidly spinning vortices that form when air superheated by an intense wildfire rises rapidly, consolidating low-level spin from winds converging into the fire like a spinning ice skater, pulling its arms inward’.
They are usually very narrow but can reach nearly 100ft.