'Firenado' spotted inside California's Sherpa wildfire

Posted at 9:49 AM, Jun 17, 2016

(KSBY, NBC NEWSCHANNEL) As the "Sherpa" wildfire burning in California's Refugio Canyon area continued to grow on Thursday, fire bosses hoped firefighting aircraft would be able to help prevent the blaze from moving east.

"They're working on painting the ridgeline with retardant to the west of us to give the boots on the ground, or our hand crews who are working to actively fight the fire, a stronger chance at slowing the fire from moving east, which is the direction it's predicted to go later today," explained Amber Anderson of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

However, winds play a huge role in determining which way this fire will burn.

"We're expecting the winds, which you can see right now are primarily moving up slope up towards Camino Cielo, to make a shift turn down, turn down canyon," Anderson said.

The area hasn't see a major fire in decades, making the vegetation quick to ignite. 

At one point a camera recorded a spinning pillar of flames some call a 'firenado.' 

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