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Rare Firenado Warning For Wildfire Burning Near Loyalton

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Image Credit: Reno Mircoburst @ZavalaLuke (twitter)

LOYALTON – A wildfire raging near the eastern Sierra community of Loyalton grew to 2,300 acres Saturday, triggering a rare fire tornado warning from the National Weather Service.

At first, when the blaze was reported on Friday afternoon — it was being battled by 300 firefighters from local agencies and the U.S. Forest Service.

It was just 5 percent contained as it roared over a ridge and moved toward Highway 395. The Nevada Highway Patrol was detouring people off of 395 just north of Bordertown before the California border.

Mandatory evacuations were underway in the Chilcoot area and Scott Rd south of Highway 70 east of the town of Loyalton and southwest of Mount Ina Coolbrith.

“Fire behavior is extreme, and a smoke column will be visible throughout the Sierra Valley and North Reno,” Forest Service officials said Saturday afternoon.

The behavior was so extreme that is was whipping up its own weather conditions. On Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a raw fire tornado warning.

“A pyrocumulonimbus from the Loyalton Fire is capable of producing a fire induced tornado and outflow winds in excess of 60 mph,” the weather service warned. “It was located south of Chilcoot and is nearly stationary. This is extremely dangerous for firefighters.”

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