• Tue. Jan 19th, 2021

Fire tornado spotted in Northern California wildfire

ByRichard Moran

Aug 17, 2020
fire-tornado-spotted-in-northern-california-wildfire

A rare and fiery tornado was spotted Saturday near a fire in Northern California.

The National Weather Service Office issued a tornado warning for a pyrocumulonimbus cloud that formed by the Loyalton Fire, saying it was “capable of producing a fire-induced tornado and outflow winds in excess of 60 mph.”

A pyrocumulonimbus cloud forms above intense rising heat, typically from a fire or volcano. Fire tornadoes are created when the rising heat from a fire pulls in smoke, fire and dirt, creating a rotation vortex above the blaze, Brink said.

Fire tornadoes can be massive and deadly. In 2018, one in Redding claimed the lives of a firefighter and bulldozer driver battling the Carr Fire. When the National Weather Service surveyed the damage on that firenado, it determined it was equivalent to an EF-3 tornado with winds in excess of 143 mph.

Officials in California, Oregon and Colorado are battling a series of wildfires that have collectively torched more than 100,000 acres — and things could get worse with intense heat descending on much of the US.

The Loyalton Fire has burned 20,000 acres in the Tahoe National Forest near California’s border with Nevada. and was 5% contained by early Sunday. It’s burning east of the town of Loyalton.

A funnel appears in a thick plume of smoke from the Loyalton Fire is seen in Lassen County, California, on Aug. 15, 2020. (Katelynn and Jordan Hewlett via AP)
A funnel appears in a thick plume of smoke from the Loyalton Fire is seen in Lassen County, California, on Aug. 15, 2020. (Katelynn and Jordan Hewlett via AP)

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Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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