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.
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