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New Study Explains Creation of Deadly California 'Firenado'

A new study says a rare fire tornado that raged during the deadly fire this summer in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere.

Posted: Dec. 6, 2018 5:15 AM

REDDING, Calif. (AP) - A new study says a rare fire tornado that raged during the deadly fire this summer in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere.

The study in the Geophysical Research Letters journal used satellite and radar data to suggest how a monstrous "firenado" the size of three football fields developed on July 26.

The churning funnel of smoke and flame killed a firefighter. The study, published last month and announced Wednesday, says a key factor was an ice-topped cloud generated by the fire itself.

That cloud stretched the air column and helped create swirling, tornado-strength winds.

The Carr Fire claimed eight lives and more than 1,000 homes in the Redding area north of San Francisco.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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