Apparently running out of cataclysmic events to throw at us this year, Mother Nature decided to reach deep into her bag of tricks and pull out a Biblical classic: swirling hellfire.
The National Weather Service issued its first-ever tornado warning for a twister spawned by fire early Saturday afternoon after a wildfire in Northern California produced a towering, flaming vortex. While not unheard of, fire tornadoes are some of the rarest weather phenomena on Earth, and meteorologists are saying this is the first time one’s received an official tornado warning.
The NWS Reno office issued a warning for residents in Lassen County, California shortly after 6 p.m. ET on Saturday after a pyrocumulonimbus cloud “capable of producing a fire induced tornado” emerged from a wildfire in nearby Loyalton. Officials also cautioned people to stay clear of the eastern Sierra Valley and issued evacuation orders to several of the surrounding communities.