The massive Northern California inferno dubbed the Tamarack Fire was raging across more than 18,000 acres on Sunday—and had spawned a terrifying-sounding pyrocumulus cloud. The smoky, ashy cloud, hovering some 4 miles above the scorched earth, has the potential to create lightning storms, which is the last thing the bone-dry area needs, The Sacramento Bee reports. The fire, which spread into Markleeville, prompted the Forest Service to close a 26-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail as 517 firefighters and support workers tried to bring the blaze under control. Thunderstorms were predicted, but they are unlikely to be wet enough to help firefighting efforts and could whip up winds that will make the situation worse.
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