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Photo captures firenado's spinning vortex of flame in Chillicothe

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A producer of Weather Center Live on the Weather Channel tweeted the photo Tuesday after a viewer sent it to him. (Shawn Reynolds via Twitter) A producer of Weather Center Live on the Weather Channel tweeted the photo Tuesday after a viewer sent it to him. (Shawn Reynolds via Twitter)
CHILLICOTHE, MO (KCTV) -

A photo of a firenado that was captured last weekend in Chillicothe is spinning its way across the internet.

A producer of Weather Center Live on the Weather Channel tweeted the photo Tuesday after a viewer sent it to him.

However, Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright told KCTV5 News that he cannot verify the picture.

"We have searched our records and cannot match that road service type with any address we responded to," Wright said.

KCTV5 News chief meteorologist Chris Suchan said a thunderstorm is not necessary to develop a firenado.

"Simply a very hot fire is all it takes. The fire will super heat the air above, creating a rising thermal of air. Winds flowing into the fire will create a spinning motion to the rising hot air," Suchan said.

Firenados are typically fairly narrow and can extend hundreds of feet into the air. Wind speeds in a firenado can reach low-end tornado wind speeds of an EF-0 at 65 mph plus.

"But I've heard of cases of EF-1 to even an EF-2 firenado with winds of 111 mph or stronger," Suchan said.

The temperature inside the core of a fire tornado can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to potentially reignite ashes sucked up from the ground.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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