Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

A California Wildfire Whirled Into a 'Fire Tornado'

Rising winds forecast for Northern California wildfire zones A California Wildfire Whirled Into a 'Fire Tornado'
Jay Anderson | 07 August, 2018, 14:47

The column of fire produced by "intense rising heat and turbulent winds" was equivalent to an F3 tornado and left a path of destruction - completely stripping bark off of trees, uprooting some others and collapsing power line towers, according to the National Weather Service.

Firefighters have achieved 41 percent containment of that forest fire.

Farther north, crews gained ground against a deadly blaze that has destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around Redding. It was 34 percent contained.

Nearly 3,500 personnel, alongside 419 fire engines and 15 helicopters, have taken part of the firefighting efforts.

"Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property loses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster", the White House said.

"These kinds of awful situations bring people together, regardless of the lesser kind of ideologies and partisan considerations", Brown told a news conference Saturday.

The White House has approved a disaster declaration for Shasta County, California, where officials say the massive Carr Fire has killed seven people and is continuing to burn through homes and property.

However, some days-old evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling an vast blaze about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the OR line.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the blaze had blackened almost 206 square miles.

Rising winds forecast for Northern California wildfire zones

At least three new fires broke out Wednesday in the Sierra Nevada region, including a blaze in Placer County that had consumed 1½ square miles of land. The Lake County Sheriff's Office has issued a new mandatory evacuation order for Lucerne, Glenhaven and Clearlake Oaks.

Several thousand people have been evacuated as the fires swept across the state, although some have been given permission in recent days to return to their homes.

The twin fires have destroyed 41 homes.

The blaze is now 41 percent contained.

The fire has reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park. It has destroyed 1,567 homes and other structures and blackened 133,924 acres (54,197 hectares), making it the sixth most destructive California wildfire on record. The U.S. Forest Service's tab just to fight the Ferguson Fire, which was first reported on July 13, has surpassed $73 million, according to a tweet by the federal agency in early August.

Cal Fire operations chief Charlie Blankenheim said in a video update Monday morning on Facebook that success against the River Fire was due to "a very large aircraft show" on Sunday. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

It burned so furiously on July 26 that it created what is called a fire whirl.

The report says the death of the 10-year veteran highlights the need for better risk assessment, communication and supervision.




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