The Carr Fire tearing through Northern California is so powerful that it’s creating its own weather patterns.
The explosive blaze reached the city of Redding on Thursday night. By Saturday morning, the fire grew to 80,906 acres and is only around 5 percent contained, according to officials.
The fire has destroyed 500 structures, and officials say 5,000 more are threatened. Around 37,000 people remain under evacuation orders. Tragically, five people have already died.
Among the scariest videos to emerge from the scene is this apocalyptic-looking “rotation updraft,” or fire vortex, which looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.
See the video, first posted on Twitter by ABC10, a local ABC affiliate:
No, this is not a tornado. The Carr Fire in Shasta County created this rotation updraft. #CarrFire #California pic.twitter.com/CVvcafJBGK
— ABC10 (@ABC10) July 27, 2018
And in this video, posted by NBC, you can see a time lapse of the fire approaching Redding:
Timelapse video shows the #CarrFire approaching #Redding, California. https://t.co/cZHrZOS53i
[Video: Cody Markhart] pic.twitter.com/x2gg1RL50Y
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) July 27, 2018
While the fire’s movements may resemble a tornado, it’s actually a different mechanism that causes the rotation. Hot smoke creates an updraft, that pulls embers and flames upwards. That pull creates strong winds, which form the vortex.
On top of that, the Carr Fire is so strong it created its own weather patterns, The Los Angeles Times reported.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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