St. Albert 'fire tornado' caught on camera
Published Sunday, April 17, 2016 2:02PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, April 17, 2016 7:02PM MDT
St. Albert Fire Services is sharing dramatic new video of a "fire tornado" that forced one of their members to jump into Big Lake on Thursday to escape injury.
The footage captured by St. Albert resident Diane Logan, shows the incredible size of the flaming twister as it moves along the edge of the lake.
"My head was the opposite direction of the wind storm because I was trying to pull hose over to the [other] side so it didn't burn up and we'd have hose to be able to apply to the rest of the fire," said firefighter Vincent Pashko who quickly found himself surrounded by the tower of smoke.
“When the guys screamed 'watch out', I turned around and all I could see was just a huge wall of black ash […] and then I just felt the heat come up from behind and I could feel that I was starting to burn up,” he told CTV News.
“I just went kind of face first [into] the lake and my face was quite hot [and] the back of my ears were quite hot."
With ash billowing into the air, Pashko’s crewmates couldn’t see where he was.
“They were screaming my name,” he said. “It was a good feeling to hear them screaming.”
Pashko, who considers himself lucky, suffered minor burns to his ears and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
According to officials, the dangerous grass fire was started by a campfire that quickly got out of control.
Big Lake is part of the Sturgeon River and is located west of Ray Gibbon Drive.
With files from Michel Boyer
Truly incredible video of fire tornado that happened during brush fire causing our firefighter to escape into river pic.twitter.com/8BdeZDfeL5— StAlbertFirefighters (@saffu2130) April 17, 2016