Dramatic footage of a “fire tornado” was caught Wednesday as a wildfire ripped through Los Angeles County.
More than 200 firefighters in Los Angeles were called out to the fast-moving, 4-acre Sam Fire in Gorman, California on Wednesday afternoon just after 4:00 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Times. Around 5:00 p.m., a large fire tornado, or “fire devil,” was caught on camera ripping through the hilly countryside, KTLA reported.
Fire tornadoes are caused by rising heat mixing with high, choppy wind conditions, KTLA continued. Similarly to other tornados, the vortex created sucks in all combustible gases and any debris, the outlet continued.
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“Short range spotting and fire whirls on the Sam Fire tell the story of dry, receptive fuels and erratic winds from intense surface heat,” Los Angeles Country Fire Air Operations described in a tweet. No structures were immediately threatened by the wildfire and fire tornado, but one highway was closed in the area, KTLA noted. The fire held at around 150 acres, according to the LA Times.
The fire tornado is the latest in a series of extreme weather events taking place throughout the western U.S. Death Valley experienced a rare, massive flooding event that trapped more than 1,000 inside the national park over the weekend. (RELATED: Extreme Drought Reveals Enormous Unexploded WWII Munition In Riverbed)
Drought throughout the area surrounding Lake Mead, Nevada, has revealed at least four bodies once thought to be lost under the water. Police are continuing to investigate all of the discoveries.