California Got Its First Ever Fire Tornado Warning

As if regular tornados weren't scary enough, nature is throwing something even more extreme at us.
Loukia Papadopoulos

As if regular ones weren't scary enough, California has now reported its first-ever fire tornado warning, proving that climate change is indeed very real and worrisome. The National Weather Service issued the warning for a twister spawned by fire early Saturday afternoon, reported Gizmodo.


Luckily, fire tornados are extremely rare. However, this does make this incident even scarier. What is going on with our planet that a fire tornado would erupt?

Scientists still don't know how fire tornados come to be. What they do know is that a wildfire has to be huge enough to form its own weather system.

If that should happen, pyrocumulus clouds form as the hot air rises above the flames. It's what happens next that researchers aren't sure about.

It could be that updrafts of superheated air rise and rotate or that an area of horizontal rotating wind gets swept up and tilted vertically. One thing is sure though: you never want to be near a fire tornado.

As such, the NWS Reno office issued a warning for citizens of Lassen County, California shortly after 6 p.m. ET on Saturday after the potential of a fire tornado emerging from a wildfire in nearby Loyalton was deemed possible. Officials also issued evacuation orders to the surrounding areas.

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As of Saturday evening, the Loyalton fire is still largely uncontained. It has been raging since Friday and has grown to occupy a space of more than 2,000 acres (809 hectares).

In what is somewhat good news, around 7 p.m. EST, the National Weather Service’s Reno office revealed on Twitter that the fire tornado had weakened. It did however warn that gusts are expected to remain in excess of 60 mph (97 kph).

The fires in California, and the resulting fire tornados, are caused by the extremely hot weather brought on by climate change. Now, that is something to worry about!

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