From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Char-Chars are enemies in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. They take the appearance of spherical fireballs, and can only be found in the Volcano world, where they appear as a recurring enemy.
Regular Char-Chars display a face with a menacing grin and attack by bouncing on platforms. They are harmful if touched directly, but can be disintegrated by blowing air on or throwing a barrel at them. Faceless Char-Chars can be encountered as well, either popping out of the lava in a similar manner to a Lava Bubble, revolving in mid-air, or simply flying in a staggered manner. Unlike the regular type, these Char-Chars can only be destroyed with a barrel.