VIDEO: ‘Fire Tornado’ Forms Outside Los Angeles, 200 Firefighters Battle Massive Blaze

by Sean Griffin

A massive “fire tornado” swept the area around northwestern Los Angeles County. A “fire tornado” spanned around 150 acres of the area on Wednesday evening.

Astounding video footage shows the blaze spinning in a tornado-like fashion. The fire, called the Sam Fire, navigates through California’s hilly terrain, decimating trees and other objects in its path.

Over 200 first responders emerged on the scene to fight the flames. Apparently, as of Thursday, the firefighters have made “good progress.”

Authorities are still unaware as to what started the fire. However, these so-called “firenadoes” aren’t extremely common, but they do occur when rising temperatures collide with tumultuous wind conditions.

The video can be viewed here or below.

The blaze broke out in Gorman, near Old Ridge Route and Lancaster Road, around 5pm Wednesday, according to officials.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station confirmed on Twitter that the blaze had grown. However, officials announced the fire had shrunk 60 percent by 8:15 pm Wednesday night. Water hoses were employed to extinguish the flames. However, lots of smoke still covered the area.

While the blaze did not decimate any buildings, portions of Highway 138 shut down due to the fire. Fire crews remained on the scene throughout the night.

LA County Fire Department’s Air Operations Section claims the inferno—which formed a fire whirl or ‘firenado’—likely resulted from ‘dry, receptive fuels and erratic winds from intense surface heating.’

Commenters on YouTube quickly reacted to the shocking footage. “This is crazy,” one user wrote. “I have never seen this before and it’s terrifying.”

Another user talked about being shocked at the breadth of the fire. “At first it was difficult to judge the scale of the tornado until he zoomed out,” they wrote.

‘Fire Tornado’ Erupts in Northwestern Los Angeles County

The huge fire breaks out as California continues to battle the 1,000-acre McKinney Fire. The McKinney Fire marks the state’s deadliest and largest wildfire of the year. The blaze first started on July 29 in the Klamath National Forest in Northern California.

More than 3,000 fire personnel were assigned to the blaze. As of Wednesday, it remained 75 percent contained.

The massive fire, however, forced thousands to evacuate. Its cause remains under investigation, Cal Fire reports.

The McKinney Fire has claimed the lives four people so far. It has also injured seven and destroyed 185 residential and commercial buildings. A portion of Highway 96 remains closed due to the fire.

The Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources also added that the fire killed tens of thousands of fish along a 20-mile stretch of the Klamath River. Officials say the fish died when debris flow made oxygen levels in the river plummet.

Whether it’s the fire tornado in Los Angeles County or the debris-filled inferno at the McKinney Fire, it’s clear that California is suffering from massive droughts and wildfires.