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A fire storm is usually a natural phenomenon, created during forest fires. A fire storm combines fire with the mass movement of air to create a fire of extreme intensity over a wide area. Some of the largest forest fires like the Great Peshtigo Fire have been firestorms.

Table of contents
1 Mechanism of firestorms
2 Firestorms in cities
3 External links

Mechanism of firestorms

After an area catches fire, the air above the area becomes extremely hot and rises rapidly. Cold air then rushes in at ground level from the outside, creating high winds which fanning the flames at ground level further. This creates a self-sustaining 'fire storm' with temperatures peaking at over 2000 degrees C.

Experiments with test fires have shown that firestorms can create fast-moving vortices of fire, which can spread the fire beyond the area of the original fire.

Firestorms in cities

The same underlying combustion physics can also apply to man-made structures such as cities.

Fire storms are thought to have been part of the mechanism of large urban fires such as the Great Chicago Fire, Great Fire of Rome, and the Great Fire of London.

Firestorms were also created by the firebombing raids of World War II in Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo and other cities.

The fire-bombing consisted of dropping large amounts of high explosives to expose the timbers within buildings, followed by incendiary devices (fire-sticks) to ignite them and then more high explosives to hamper the efforts of the fire services. It is said that, in the Dresden firebombing, people literally melted and caught fire in the resulting furnace conditions.

See also:

External links

Firestorm is also the DC Comics title about "Firestorm the Nuclear Man".