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‘Firenado’ is captured swirling in California as wildfires kill 35 people across the West Coast


A ‘firenado’ has been captured on camera in California as wildfires tear through large swathes of the west coast, killing at least 35 people. 

Footage showing a wildfire meeting a column of air to create a tornado-like effect was posted on TikTok on Thursday went viral over the weekend.

Social media users nicknamed the state ‘Hellifornia’, with one writing: “2020 said ‘Hey, y’all know what’s missing? A firenado! That would be so awesome! I got the perfect place, too. Here me out….”‘ one person wrote.

Another posted to Twitter: ‘2020 is something straight out of a dark science fiction novel, y’all ever seen a tornado on fire?’

The clip was posted as firefighters in California were bracing for a shift in weather that could bring stronger winds Monday and stoke dozens of fires still raging across the state. 

California this week experienced what’s being dubbed a ‘firenado’. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Northern California through Monday night, saying strong southerly winds and low humidity will result in elevated fire weather conditions across the region

Twitter users called the wild fire a ‘firenado’ and nicknamed California ‘Hellifornia’ after the video was posted on Thursday

A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, look for victims under burned residences and vehicles in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon on Sunday

Firefighters Kyle Parker (L) Battalion Chief Bob Horst (C) and Sam Hochstatter from the Grant County Fire Department work to secure the fire line on the Cold Springs Fire on Thursday in Omak, Washington. Dozens of wildfires are raging throughout West as record high temperatures and dry vegetation fuel the fast-moving, destructive blazes, destroying hundreds of acres

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Northern California through Monday night with Incident Meteorologist Dan Borsum saying strong southerly winds and low humidity will result in elevated fire weather conditions across the region.

He said conditions may improve a little bit Tuesday but not a lot. Borsum added that the air quality in the region may not improve until October.

More than 16,750 firefighters were doing battle with fires that had already killed 22 people, destroyed more than 4,100 structures and engulfed scores of communities from the Oregon border to Mexico.

Then a Northern California sheriff said Sunday that two more people have died from wildfires, bringing the state’s total death toll to 24. Oregon had 10 in Oregon fatalities and a one-year-old boy died in Washington.

The fires on the West Coast have been among the worst ever recorded. In California over 3.2 million acres were charred last month.

The Bobcat Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest north of Arcadia prompting evacuations, north East of Los Angeles

Firefighters watch the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered for the residents of Arcadia, California on Sunday

A firefighter works to extinguish the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered in Arcadia on Sunday

A helicopter drops water over the Bobcat fire, burning in the Angeles National Forest, near Arcadia, California

There was also a warning in effect in Oregon on Sunday night after the weather service said that the wind, humidity and fire danger will ‘likely contribute to a significant spread of new and existing fires.’

Gusts of wind are expected to reach up to 40 mph.

At least 10 people were killed in wildfires that burned the past week throughout Oregon) where 35 fires have devastated 902,620 acres.

Officials have said more people are missing from other blazes and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.

Andrew Phelps, Oregon’s emergency management director, said that the state was preparing for a ‘mass mass fatality incident.’

‘There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn’t get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety,’ Phelps told MSNBC on Friday.

One resident told Reuters about the scene in the town of Pheonix, ‘It looks like a war just happened here,’

The fire melted the motor right out of my truck – it drained down the driveway,’ said Manson, a 43-year-old construction worker. ‘I lost everything. I lost all my tools. My truck. I can’t work. I lost $30,000 worth of guitars. All gone.’

Nearly a week after wildfires ignited across Oregon, which forced thousands of residents to flee their homes, firefighters spent Sunday setting and holding containment lines and starting to assess the damage.

A firefighter looks out over an area where crews are working to create a boundary around the Riverside fire near Fernwood, Oregon on Sunday

A search and rescue team from Salt Lake City, Utah, including a canine, look for victims through gutted homes in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon

A burned tree smolders after firefighters and community members extinguished a wildfire on Sunday (left). A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, look for victims under burned residences and vehicles in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent (right)

The Oak Park Motel was destroyed by the flames of the Beachie Creek Fire east of Salem, Oregon, Sunday

Flames from the Beachie Creek Fire melted the aluminum rims on a car near the destroyed Oregon Department of Forestry, North Cascade District Office in Lyons, Oregon on Sunday

The Webber family searches for belongings through their home, which was gutted by the Almeda fire, in Talent

Evacuees from the Riverside Fire stay in tents at the Milwaukie-Portland Elks Lodge in Oak Grove, Oregon on Sunday

Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews and several of her colleagues in Oregon lost their homes in the Holiday Farm Fire.

She left her home to respond to a downed power line and said the fire it caused quickly spread, making her issue a level 3 evacuation order within a couple of hours.

‘I not only have my life to put back together, I also have a fire department to put back together,’ Plews told NBC News. ‘And I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do that.’

She said many people on her team worked a week straight with only a 24 rest period by Sunday when the blaze had burned 161,872 acres and was only five per cent contained.

The US Forest Service said weather conditions in areas of the state, which include mist and favorable wind, was helping to limit the rapid spread of the blaze and dispersing smoke and fog to better firefighting conditions.

Two of the Oregon´s largest fires that continue to threaten communities in Clackamas and Marion Counties remained completely uncontained Sunday, but more favorable weather and an easing of some evacuation warnings in areas indicate an improving situation.

One of the large fires ravaging the area, the Riverside Fire was still within half a mile of the small city of Estacada, but the spread of the blaze has slowed.

In Marion County, where firefighters have been battling the Lionshead and Beachie Creek fires, evacuation levels of several cities were reduced during the weekend.

People in central and northeast Oregon, including in Eugene, Portland and Salem, continued to face hazardous air quality Sunday.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported Air Quality Index numbers that were off the chart.

Air Quality Index is considered hazardous between 301 and 500. Portland´s index is currently at 426.

Values above 500 — which two cities, Madras and Roseburg both reported having — are beyond the index´s scale.

Officials advised people to stay indoors and that the low visibility, caused by fog and smoke, is creating hazardous driving conditions.

In Salem, where the Air Quality Index is 394, a dense smokey haze that clouded roads and homes made it difficult to see further than 50 yards ahead.

The National Weather Service in Portland reported that rain is expected Monday night, which could help clear smoke in Oregon next week. 

Veterinary technician Cathy Ackerman checks the medical equipment by the cages for the injured cats at the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center (SOVSC)

An injured 8 week old kitten with facial burns is being treated at SOVSC, which is a 24/7 hospital dealing with rescued animals from the destructive wildfires devastating the region on Saturday

An injured cat named Prince is being treated for third degree burns on his paws, stomach and face by technician assistant Kaity Kelsey, left

Almost a dozen cats rescued amid scorching wildfires in Oregon are being cared for at a veterinary hospital and staff members have posted their photos on social media hoping to reunite them with their owners.

The cats have burned paws covered in bandages. Some of their bellies are seared and, in one case, a cat nicknamed Depot because he was found by the Home Depot, is hooked up to oxygen because its lungs suffered damage from the hot smoke.

Rory Applegate, a veterinarian at Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center, says staff members are working even though some of them have had to evacuate or had family impacted by the blazes.

Applegate says the fires are a ‘huge emotional toll’ on the staff but they are balancing out the management of critical patients and making sure they can stay stable themselves.

She said she expects animals to feel the impact of the heavy smoke in the coming days, too.

The hospital is trying to reunite cats with their owners and has posted pictures on its Facebook page.

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