Watch: ‘Firenado’ swirls out from large brush fire in California
Video captured a whirlwind of smoke rising from the fire, creating a "firenado." The Sam Fire grew to 150 acres on Wednesday.
GORMAN, Calif. - A brush fire erupted Wednesday afternoon near Highway 138 in Gorman, California and quickly spread to more than 100 acres, even generating what appeared to be a "firenado."
More than 200 firefighters were called to fight what was named the Sam Fire. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station said the blaze prompted a part of Highway 138 to be shut down.
Video captured a whirlwind of smoke rising from the fire, creating a "firenado." The Sam Fire grew to 150 acres just before 6:30 p.m. and as of the latest update was 80% contained.
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The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported no structures were threatened by the flames and no injuries were reported. It's unknown what sparked the blaze at this time.
These fire whirls are caused when the rising air from the wildfire’s intense heat creates a column of flames that rise towards the sky.
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They typically are 33-100 feet tall and have inside wind speeds of about 20-60 mph. The smallest whirls can be just a couple of feet across while the largest can span 500 feet in diameter.
NOAA researchers say the most favorable condition for fire whirlwinds are over a hot fire near the top of a steep slope with strong winds over the ridge top.