FRESNO, CALIF.—A “fire tornado” scorched the area near Huntington Lake when the Creek Fire initially picked up in intensity last week, according to Huntington Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris Donnelly.
The large flames and high winds caused many trees to be uprooted in the old meadow area in front of Kennolyn Camps on the north side of Huntington Lake, Donnelly said of the scene he witnessed Sept. 5.
He and others captured the scene in photos and on videos that they hope to share with evacuees in the coming days.
A fire tornado, also sometimes called a fire whirl, occurs when intense heat from a wildfire causes hot air to surge up from the ground and form a whirl or tornadolike vertically oriented rotating column of air, according to UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Geography.
A week later, Donnelly said Saturday that the Creek Fire continues to burn in