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California's Growing Wildfire Started in a Humdrum Way

It began with a vehicle breakdown; now 'firenadoes' are brewing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2018 9:16 AM CDT
Flames from a brush fire flare around a firefighter in the Cajon Pass near San Bernardino, Calif., on Friday July 27, 2018.   (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP)
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(Newser) – California's latest wildfire is only getting worse, and "firenadoes" aren't helping. That's the term used by a spokesman for the crews battling what is known as the Carr Fire in Shasta County, reports ABC News. Think winds of about 60mph fanning flames into a "fire tornadoes" that can overturn vehicles "like toys," explains Scott McLean. And this all started in a mundane way: Authorities say a vehicle broke down Monday afternoon by Highway 299 in Whiskeytown, reports the Sacramento Bee, triggering a brush fire that soon spun out of control.

The blaze worsened overnight, expanding to 75 square miles, or about 48,000 acres, reports the AP. Authorities say 500 structures have been destroyed and another 50,000 are in danger. Two people fighting the wildfire have been killed and three others injured, reports CNN. One of those killed was a firefighter from Redding, Jeremy Stoke, and the other was a private bulldozer operator, unidentified. The fire has forced the evacuation of nearly 40,000 people so far. (An arsonist is blamed for a different wildfire.)

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