(ETH) – In a first, The Reno office of the National Weather Service has just issued a “Fire Tornado” warning for Northern California after a fiery tornado on Saturday afternoon sprung up near a large, fast-moving wildfire in the Sierra.
This warning is known as the first known issuance of a tornado warning for the climate phenomenon since it burst into California’s consciousness during the deadly Carr Fire in 2018. The warning was issued by Wendell Hohmann, the NWS forecaster who also stated that it was the first time to his knowledge of a tornado warning of this nature.
“It’s probably the first time it’s been issued outside of a thunderstorm environment,” Hohmann said. According to Yahoo News, Just before 3 p.m., Hohmann, working from the Reno forecast office, observed a cloud forming in Lassen County by the 2,300-acre wildfire which started in Sierra County in the Tahoe National Forest.
He and his colleagues knew it was capable of forming into a tornado and spreading fire around the area. Winds hit 60 mph in the area, whipping up the cloud, posing “an extremely dangerous situation for firefighters,” according to the warning.