LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) – After at least one terrible fiery tornado was detected in northern California on Saturday, the National Weather Service (SMN) issued a rare fiery tornado watch for the pyrocumulonimbus cloud formed by the huge forest fire.
Tornado Watch Issued by #Loyalton Fire near Roberts Canyon. Follow all orders from first responders and responders. Stay away from the fire area! ”Tweeted the SMN.
The alert indicates that the area of the possible fire tornado has no population, but added that it is an extremely dangerous situation for firefighters.
As of today, the Loyalton fire, reported Friday afternoon near the California-Nevada border line, has consumed 80.9 square kilometers and is 5 percent contained, according to InciWeb, an interstate system of incident information. More than 400 firefighters fight the blaze.
Fueled by record heat waves, wildfires in California, Oregon and Colorado have consumed about 404.7 square kilometers this weekend.
Intense forest fires can sometimes create their own climate, resulting in the formation of a pyrocumulonimbus cloud due to the intense heating of the air that cools and condenses as it rises. On rare occasions this can cause a fiery tornado to form.
In 2018, a fiery tornado that was formed by the Carr Fire in Northern California killed a firefighter and a heavy equipment operator working to control the flames. A team of meteorologists from the SMN undertook an investigation of the incident and discovered that the tornado had winds of up to 230 kilometers per hour.
Scientists use the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF) to measure tornado strength, wind speed, and destructive velocity, on a scale of 0 to 5. Fewer than six out of 100 tornadoes achieve an EF-3 or greater than the Fujita scale in the United States. The 2018 fire tornado was identified as a powerful EF-3.