At least two firefighters killed in a raging wildfire in northern California while tens of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.
According to fire officials, the fires in Shasta County sucked up by strong winds to form fire tornados. It also uprooted the trees and overturning cars.
At least 500 structures destroyed by the blazes and also threatening thousands of homes. Firefighters are still battling the blaze. Only 3% contained till now so far.
The wildfire named the Carr fire. It began on Monday and has scorched over 48,000 acres (194 sq km) of land. This is an area larger than the city of San Francisco.
Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott told reporters, “We are seeing fire whirls – literally what can be described as a tornado”.
“This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity” by gale-force winds. It is also “uprooting trees, moving vehicles, moving parts of roadways”.
“These are extreme conditions… we need to take heed and evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”
Two firefighters named fire inspector Jeremy Stoke, and an unnamed bulldozer operator died trying containing the blaze.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that three people including a great-grandmother and her two great-grandchildren are currently missing. About 37,000 residents have left the area.
One local, Liz Williams fled by foot. “I’ve never experienced something so terrifying in my life. I didn’t know if the fire was just going to jump out behind a bush and grab me and suck me in.”
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