Fighter jet captures stunning images of wildfire smoke clouds

August 7, 2014 7:03 PM

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This week, an F-15C fighter jet with Oregon Air National Guard captured several stunning images of smoke rising from Northern California fires and forming what are called fire clouds, or scientifically speaking, pyrocumulus clouds. They form the same way regular cumulus clouds do: warm air rises and condenses as it collides with cool air above.

Only in the case of fire clouds, the warm air is not clean air heated by the sun, but dirty, smoky air -- full of ash and other particulates -- heated by open flames.

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