Story at a glance:

  • A fire tornado took form in June in northern California near Oregon.
  • The fire scorched through 10,580 acres and was 81 percent contained.
  • The fire tornado is a rare occurrence, but it has happened before in California and elsewhere.

Last month, a fire tornado took form in northern California near Oregon as the state combats a heat wave and drought simultaneously.

In a newly released video by the U.S. Forest Service in Klamath National Forest, the fire-spawned incident was captured on June 29, according to Business Insider and lasted 30 minutes.


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Captain Tom Stokesberry said this was one of the first times a fire tornado was both measured on radar and captured by video, noting that some trees were uprooted by the tornado.

Last Thursday, it was reported the fire had scorched through 10,580 acres and was 81 percent contained, with Stokesberry saying that the fire crews had “turned a corner on the blaze,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

A fire tornado is a swirl of smoke and fire that can only exist under extreme dry conditions, just like the situation the Pacific Northwest faces, The BBC reported.

When swirling winds travel through wildfires, they become heated by the flames and carry their destruction via a tornado.

The wildfire takes the shape of a vortex, stretching further into the skies and covering more ground.

This is a rare occurrence, but it has been seen four times before in California, once in Missouri and once in Canada where the tornado sucked up a fireman’s hose.


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Published on Jul 12, 2021