California is no stranger to wildfires. Every year, their landscape is ravaged by wild, ferocious fires that leave nothing but ashes and devastation along the way.
Some years are worse than others, and it has proven that this fire season has been one unlike any other. Recently, video captured by Cal Fire shows just how severe the damage has been, and the footage is nothing short of horrific.
What is now being deemed as a “fire tornado” has been spotted ripping through the San Fransisco landscape. The fire initially began on July 23 and was started by a tiny spark from a car that was driving on a flat tire.
According to CBS News, “The smoke-and-fire tornado was about 1,000 feet wide at its base and shot approximately 7.5 miles into the sky; it reached speeds of up to 165 mph, with temperatures that likely exceeded 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Watch the footage of the fire:
Fire Chief Jonathan Cox, commented: “There have been several documented instances of a fire whirl in California. But this is the largest documented fire whirl - a fire-generated tornado - in California history.”
One valiant firefighter named Jeremy Stokes tragically lost his life in the horrific incident, all while trying to save the lives of others.
He was reportedly driving down the road in an attempt to evacuate any remaining people from the area when the fire got out of control. He urgently issued a “mayday” call, asking for a water drop because the area was completely engulfed in flames.
While transmitters attempted to carry on conversation and put the plan in rapid action, they lost all communication with Stokes. They knew they were too late.
The following day, Stokes body was found amid the burned rubble of homes, broken power lines, and singed cars.
Stokes will forever be remembered for his urgency to help those in need and for answering the call to aide despite the danger that surrounded him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this tragic time.