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Report: Massive fire tornado killed California firefighter

Officials say a firefighter who died helping people evacuate a Northern California blaze was killed by a fire tornado that at one point reached a temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit (1,480 centigrade).

Posted: Aug. 16, 2018 11:56 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Officials say a firefighter who died helping people evacuate a Northern California blaze was killed by a fire tornado that at one point reached a temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit (1,480 centigrade).

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says in a report that Redding firefighter Jeremy Stoke died after he was enveloped in seconds by a fire tornado with a base the size of three football fields and winds up to 165 miles an hour.

The report obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle says that on July 26 the 37-year-old fire inspector was driving his pickup truck down a Redding road, working on evacuating people. One minute later he radioed out a "mayday" call saying he was getting burned over, and then his transmissions abruptly stopped.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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