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San Luis, Obispo, CA, April 7, 1926. Lightning struck large oil reservoirs containing 750,000 barrels of oil two and a half miles south of the center of town. Altogether, over 5,000,000 gallons of oil burned, and the fire lasted five days. As a result, hundreds of violent whirlwinds formed. Many of them had characteristics of true tornadoes. The gyrating, funnel-shaped clouds were viewed by thousands of people. Some did considerable damage but none travelled more than three miles from the fire zone. At least two revolved in a clockwise direction. Being purely of local origin there were no fronts or general currents of air to give the true counter-clockwise rotation.
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