Australia is currently dealing with extremely serious wildfires, and this clip shows just how quickly they can advance in dry conditions.
The problem with forest fires in really dry area, is they spread far faster than you logically think fire spreads.
Most people think of a spreading forest fire as the flame spreading linearly, like the flames are just creeping from one tree to another, then the next one, nice and stepwise. That’s true for forest fires in wet forest, like in California.
The problem in places like Australia is the flames spreads not through direct contract, but rather the sheer intensity of heat igniting fires hundreds of feet away in all directions. Basically one tree goes up, and it’s so hot that the entire forest around it instantly ignites. Repeat, etc. Fires can spread horrifying fast, easily overtaking vehicles.
“The first documented case of a fire tornado in Australia was during the 2003 Canberra bushfire. It was calculated to have horizontal winds of 250 km/h (160 mph) and vertical air speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), spawned by its own wind rotation from a pyrocumulonimbus cloud and causing the flashover of 120 hectares (300 acres) in 0.04 seconds”
Via Ross Beckley