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After The "Firenado"
Unlike anything firefighters had ever seen before
The Carr Fire "firenado" near Redding, California July 26, 2018
August 7, 2018
The National Weather Service has confirmed what was once thought unlikely to ever happen, a full-fledged fire storm or "firenado" that occurred July 26th near Redding, California.
NWS and CalFire’s Serious Accident Review Team conducted a preliminary damage survey on the Carr Fire in which they found that the “Firenado” produced 143 MPH winds, equivalent to an EF-3 tornado.
“This is historic in the U.S.”, Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Research Laboratory, told BuzzFeed News. “This might be the strongest fire-induced tornado-like circulation ever recorded.”
One of three high voltage transmission towers melted and toppled. Photo: Damon Arthur
Steel pipe wrapped around a tree. Photo: SJSU FireWeatherLab
Trees stripped of leaves and blown over. Photo: Damon Arthur
Scorched landscape, ripped-up vegetation. Photo: SJSU FireWeatherLab
According to radar rendering, the plume of smoke that spawned the vortex rapidly underwent vertical development, growing from 19-thousand to 39-thousand feet in just 40 minutes. This rapid increase in height possibly explains why this particular “firenado” was so powerful.
While the National Weather Service office in Sacramento described the vortex as a fire whirl,
many analysts are suggesting this was an actual tornado. Fire whirls are much more common.