Fire Whirl in Carr Fire Reached 143 miles per hour

Fire Whirl in Carr Fire Reached 143 miles per hour

Fire Whirl in Carr Fire Reached 143 miles per hour

New evacuations advisories and orders were issued overnight for parts of Lake and Colusa counties threatened by the growing Mendocino Complex fires. Those fires destroyed 55 homes and forced thousands of residents to flee their neighborhoods about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of the city.

Increasing winds are expected in Northern California areas where deadly and destructive wildfires are burning. Crews had reached 30 percent containment on the complex. Fire officials said another 8,000 homes and other buildings were threatened - down from about 12,000 homes initially threatened as firefighters made progress in some areas even as the blaze expanded in others. Six people, including two firefighters, have died and the fire has destroyed 1060 homes and almost 500 other buildings, including barns and warehouses, making it the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history, state fire officials said.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber.

As of Friday, Caltrans says SR-175 between Hopland and Lakeport is re-opened, after being closed since Sunday by the River Fire.

A fire whirl - similar to a tornado - that occurred in the Carr Fire near Redding on July 26 had maximum winds in excess of 143 miles per hour, according to an initial analysis by the National Weather Service and Calfire.

The heat of wildfires can sometimes create short-lived "fire whirls", and at first, experts were reluctant to call the Redding fire column a tornado.

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Dykema says the whirl started when hot air from the exceptionally hot fire rose and twisted tightly, creating a powerful tornado of flames and wind.

The "firenado" also left behind damage that looked more like the work of a tornado than a wildfire-tiles stripped from roofs, trees uprooted, cars moved, a transmission tower tipped over.

As of Friday morning, CalFire reported that the Ranch Fire was at 112,226 acres and 28 percent containment and the River Fire at 41,512 acres and 50 percent containment. The fire had reached into remote areas of the country's third-oldest national park.

Some evacuations were lifted Friday in an area near Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft have been battling an enormous blaze about 100 miles south of the OR line.

Alerts have been upgraded to Reg Flag Warnings by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection due to low humidity, gusty winds and high temperatures, Anadolu Agency reports.

Varney was a 10-year veteran.

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