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'Fire whirl' spotted in area of Northern California wildfire

The whirl was seen in the area of the Tennant Fire in late June.

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — A "fire whirl" was captured in the area of a wildfire burning in Northern California.

The video was recorded on June 29 by the USDA Forest Service but has since gained traction on social media after being shared by the National Weather Service

The weather service followed the video with a radar photo, explaining the swirl was picked up as "anticyclonic rotation" on its radars. 

As of Thursday morning, the Tennant Fire burned 10,580 acres and is 81% contained. 

"Due to the improvement of weather conditions overnight, fire behavior is predicted to be limited to smoldering fuels within the perimeter of the Tennant Fire," the latest incident report states.  

However, a dangerous warming pattern is developing across Northern California. 


According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed. 

California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning over 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020. 

If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.

WATCH: What you need to know to prepare, stay safe for wildfires

The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.

Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts. 

Read more: Are you wildfire ready? Here's what to do to prepare for fire season.

PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.

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