Rare 'firenado' strikes California amid raging wildfire

The phenomenon occurs during "extremely dangerous fire behavior," the National Weather Service warned.

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Firefighters battling a blaze near Lake Hughes, California on August 15, 2020
Firefighters battling a blaze near Lake Hughes, California on August 15, 2020
(Nick Ut/Getty Images)
Updated: August 16, 2020 - 3:54pm

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Amid a raging wildfire in the American west, at least one rare fire tornado, or  "firenado," developed Saturday in California, according to the Weather Channel.

"At 228 PM PDT, a pyrocumulonimbus from the Loyalton Wildfire is capable of producing a fire induced tornado and outflow winds in excess of 60 mph was located south of Chilcoot, and is nearly stationary," a National Weather Service warning said on Saturday.

Also known as fire whirls, firenadoes form when ground winds mix with fire to create a flame spiral.

The National Weather Service office in Reno on Saturday warned of “extremely dangerous fire behavior,” with the potential to create fire whirls.

The Washington Post reported multiple instances of fire tornado activity.

Several areas out west posted new record high temperatures on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

 

 

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