The wildfire ravaging California created an insane-looking 'fire vortex' — see the terrifying footage

  • Videos show the Carr Fire producing a 'fire vortex' as it rips through the town of Redding, California.
  • While the vortex may appear similar to a tornado, it's created through a different mechanism.
  • See below for the footage.

The Carr Fire tearing through Northern California is so powerful that it's creating its own weather patterns. 

The explosive blaze reached the city of Redding on Thursday night. By Saturday morning, the fire grew to 80,906 acres and is only around 5% contained, according to officials.

The fire has destroyed 500 structures, and officials say 5,000 more are threatened. Around 37,000 people remain under evacuation orders.

Among the scariest videos to emerge from the scene is this apocalyptic-looking "rotation updraft," or fire vortex, which looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

See the video, first posted on Twitter by ABC10, a local ABC affiliate:

And in this video, posted by NBC, you can see a time lapse of the fire approaching Redding:

While the fire's movements may resemble a tornado, it's actually a different mechanism that causes the rotation. Hot smoke creates an updraft, that pulls embers and flames upwards. That pull creates strong winds, which form the vortex.

On top of that, the Carr Fire is so strong it created its own weather patterns, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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California wildfires 2018
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: A firefighter uses a drip torch to light a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: A firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: Firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: An orange glow from the Carr Fire lights up burnt trees as the fire burns through dry brush on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Santa Barbara County Firefighter spray water on flames at a home at the site of a wildfire in Goleta, California, U.S., July 6, 2018 in this image released on social media. Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
Santa Barbara County Firefighter spray water on flames at a home at the site of a wildfire in Goleta, California, U.S., July 6, 2018 in this image released on social media. Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
GOLETA, CA - JULY 07: Firefighters spray foam on the remains of a destroyed home in the aftermath of the Holiday Fire on July 7, 2018 in Goleta, California. The fire destroyed a number of homes in the community during an intense heat wave which broke various records across Southern California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Embers from a burning home rises up in the air after a wildfire sweeps through Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Firefighters work to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: A firefighter waits for water to be pumped before he can begin working to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Firefighters work to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
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