Carr Fire Intensifies By Creating Its Own Weather
The flames of this Northern California wildfire are intense enough to generate weather
Joel Shannon, USA TODAY
The National Weather Service reports the fire is “plume dominated,” a type of fire that spreads itself. Among the weather features created by the fire: clouds, strong winds and even tornadic activity.
“We’re seeing, literally almost what can be described as a tornado occurred over this fire yesterday,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said at a Friday news conference. “The fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity.”
He said the tornadic activity toppled trees, moved vehicles and damaged roads. It makes the job of fighting the fire even harder.
The fire has also created towering Pyrocumulus clouds, which can collapse at night, potentially creating strong downdrafts, the Los Angles Times reports.
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That’s among the factors making a plume-dominated fire such a challenge to predict. Photos from the scene show smoldering houses beside unburnt trees — an example of the unpredictability of flying embers, the news organization reports.
The fire has also been fueled by a variety of other factors, including hot, dry weather and dry vegetation.
Temperatures in Redding are expected to reach 110 degrees this weekend, the National Weather Service reports.
Numerous California wildfires have burned through more than 100,000 acres in total this week. A drought lasting years has extended fire season in the region, leading some to dub it “a new normal” for the state.
Contributing: Jenny Espino and Jim Schultz, Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight; Cheri Carlson, Ventura County (Calif.) Star; Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY; Associated Press