The Bootleg fire in southern Oregon has already consumed an area greater than the metropolis of Los Angeles. At least 2,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and 160 homes and buildings have been destroyed. There are more than 80 fires blazing across the United States, so it’s not alone.
Some of these fires are now so intense and large they can create their own weather systems, including fire tornadoes, clouds and other weird phenomena – including smoky haze that has reached New York City, 3,000 miles from where the fires started.
In California’s Dixie fire this week, a pyro-cloud spun off lightning within the fire’s 40,500-acre footprint as it gained momentum early Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. It soon began shooting electric bolts at the surrounding area, where firefighters worked to contain the blaze. Meteorologists tracking the storm recorded 31 lightning strikes in all.
In addition to lightning, fire can also create tornadoes – a spiraling vortex of gases and smoke and fire.It’s pretty insane to think about how fire is now creating all these other intense weather conditions.