Rare Fire Tornado Makes Appearance Near Loyalton, California Wildfire

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A fire tornado was spotted near a California wildfire Saturday.

The National Weather Service is now investigating reports of the tornadoes near the Loyalton Fire, according to an article published by The New York Times.

Meteorologist Dawn Johnson reportedly confirmed the National Weather Service received reports of multiple fire tornadoes.

“It’s not like a typical tornado where it happens, everything clears out and you safely go and investigate,” Johnson told the New York Times. “In this case, there’s a massive wildfire burning in the same location, so the logistics are a lot more complicated.” (RELATED: Death Valley May Have Broken Record For Hottest Day On Earth In 100 Years)

Johnson claimed the doppler showed five separate rotations, per the New York Times, but said not all would be classified as a fire tornado.

Turbulent winds, uneven terrain and extreme heat from fire must all be present for a fire tornado to form, according to Ohio meteorologist Ben Gelber.

“It’s applying our traditional knowledge of tornadoes to a rare phenomenon,” Gelber told the outlet. “It’s so unusual, it’s a little difficult to wrap our heads around. Of course, the towering clouds created by fires, we’ve all seen that. But the tornadic feature or multiple fire whirls, that’s just incredible.”

The Loyalton Fire broke out on Aug. 14 near the town of Loyalton in California. On Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service reported the fire was 5% contained.