Fueled by hot, dry weather and gusty winds, it only took a day and a half for the Apple Fire to explode to 32 square miles. As the forest went up in flames, the plume of smoke ballooned to 25,000 feet. That's more than twice the height of San Gorgonio Mountain, Southern California's highest peak seen in the middle of this photo. The behavior of this fire is extreme enough to make it's own weather. Pyrocumulus is a type of cloud formed when intense heat creates an updraft similar to a thunderstorm. Pyrocumulus lofts embers high into the air, creates strong unpredictable outflow winds at the surface, and in rare cases even generates lightning. The same phenomena is seen in volcanic eruptions. All of this hampers firefighting efforts and causes the flames to expand even more. But even in the devastation, there was beauty. From my vantage point northwest of the blaze, the smoke plume took on a deep red glow at sunset before the 97% full moon rose above it.
- Kevin Palmer
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- 11581x7721 / 36.6MB
2020, August, Big Bear, California, San Bernardino Mountains, San Gorgonio Mountain, cloud, evening, fire, flammagenitus, forest fire, high resolution, kevin palmer, moon, mosaic, nikon 180mm f2.8, nikon d750, orange, plume, pyrocumulus, rare, red, ridges, smoke, stitched, summer, sunset, telephoto, weather, wildfire
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