The April 14 video was posted online by the St Albert fire department from Alberta, Canada, and shows billowing black smoke from a scrub fire form into a vertical funnel.
The clip shows firefighters running from the flames behind the “fire tornado” and one firefighter, Vincent Pashko, jumping into a nearby river to save his own life.
Pashko told CBC that he heard his co-workers scream behind him.
“I turned around and saw the big storm of ash coming towards me,” he said. “I could feel the heat coming up over my head, and I ran to Big Lake and dropped into the water to cool myself off.”
The blaze was sparked by a campfire and the flames were fanned by wind and dry conditions.
Pashko escaped unharmed but said it was the most dangerous situation he had experienced in nine years of fighting fires.