Carr Fire Spawns 'Fire Tornadoes'

The Carr Fire currently burning across Shasta County near Redding has already burned several homes and 44,450 acres of land and now the flames are whipping into 100-foot "firenadoes" 

"It was literally a firenado barreling down on Redding," one Twitter user wrote. "This is absolutely terrifying. Wildfires are getting more erratic. We can't ignore it anymore."

The National Weather Service says the agency's equipment in the area measured readings up to 30 mph into Friday morning, making the fire almost impossible to control with gusts on Thursday reaching 60 mph, strong enough to overturn vehicles.  

"If there were fire tornados you can get localized winds created by the fire and our equipment doesn't measure those," NWS meteorologist Eric Kurth said.

According to Cal Fire, the technical term the firefighting community uses to describe a firenado is "fire whirl."

"It occurs when ground level winds come into contact with a fire and whip it into the air, creating a tornado-shaped spiral of flames," Heather Williams, a spokesperson with Cal Fire said.

Winds are expected to pick up overnight after slowing down Friday morning. 

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