Destructive fire tornado killed fire inspector in Northern California


KRON4 has just learned what lead to the death of a Cal Fire inspector during the Carr Fire in Shasta County. 

Officials tell KRON4 Wednesday night that Jeremy Stoke was killed by a fire tornado. 

A video shows the scene from a helicopter over the Carr Fire in Redding of the fire tornado on July. 26th. 

Just minutes before a plume of smoke started swirling, Stoke radioed out a mayday and that he needed a water drop in the area. Unfortunately, it was too late and the fire tornado reached speeds up to 165 miles per hour, covered 1,000 feet, and reached a height of 40,000 feet.

“Winds dramatically increased near the fire tornado, and embers were lofted in many directions,” Cal Fire wrote in the report. “The fire front exhibited erratic and rapid growth during this period.”

Temperatures at the time were almost 3,000 degrees. July 26 was also a record hot day for the region–113 degrees. 

“The fire tornado was a large rotating fire plume that was roughly 1000 feet in diameter at its base. Winds at the base of the fire tornado reached speeds in the range of 136-165 mph (EF-3 tornado strength), as indicated by wind damage to large oak trees, scouring of the ground surface, damage to roofs of houses, and lofting of large steel power line support towers, vehicles, and a steel marine shipping container within ½ mile of the entrapment site. The strong winds caused the fire to burn all live vegetation less than 1 inch in diameter and fully consume any dead biomass. Peak gas temperatures likely exceeded 2,700 °F,” Cal Fire said in the report.

Cal Fire says it left a trail of damaged trees, rooftops, power line towers, cars, and a steel shipping container.

You can read the full report below:

Cal Fire Carr Fire Report by Ktxl FOXForty on Scribd



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