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A Flat Tire Started Deadly California Fire

REUTERS/Bob Strong

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

Officials said a flat tire caused the deadly Carr Fire in Northern California when its rim skidded the asphalt, which caused sparks to ignite the sixth most destructive fire recorded in the state.

A tractor trailer’s tire fell flat on a road near Redding, California, on July 23. The sparks from this event caused the massive fire that burned nearly 134,000 acres, according to CNN Wire in a Saturday report.

Six people, including one firefighter and one bulldozer operator, died as a result of the fire.

The fire also produced what some called a “firenado,” which is when the blazing heat causes the air to warm up and rise quickly. The high winds created a vortex that pulled the fire in unpredictable directions, CNN Wire reported. (RELATED: ‘We Are Not Climate Scientists’: Firefighters Dismiss Concerns Related To Global Warming)

The vortex was reported to be at least 18,000 feet in height, University of Nevada, Reno assistant atmospheric science professor Neil Lareau said, according to The Weather Channel.

“A vortex resembling a large tornado generated by a wildfire, not a supercell thunderstorm, produced wind damage typical of an EF3 tornado, in addition to fire damage, in a state that’s only documented a pair of F/EF3 tornadoes, last occurring over 40 years ago,” The Weather Channel reported.

The National Weather Service found the whirling fire uprooted and debarked trees and collapsed power line towers.

Firefighters have struggled to manage the fire. As of Friday, 39 percent of the fire was contained.

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