Report: Massive fire tornado killed California firefighter

Officials say a firefighter who died while helping people evacuate a Northern California blaze was killed by a fire tornado that at one point reached a temperature of 1 480°C.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says in a report that Redding firefighter Jeremy Stoke died after he was enveloped in seconds by a fire tornado with a base the size of three football fields and winds up to 265km (165 miles) an hour.

The report released on Wednesday says that on July 26 the 37-year-old fire inspector was driving his pickup truck down a Redding road, working on evacuating people. One minute later he radioed out a "mayday" call saying he was getting burned over, and then his transmissions abruptly stopped.


KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter