UNPREDICABLE

Wildfire Creates Its Own Weather System

Northern California’s Rocky Fire, which has so far defied fire officials’ predictions and computer simulations as it sweeps across three counties, has created its own weather system. The blaze is sucking up heat, energy and moisture, then shooting them into the air in a mushroom formation of smoke and ash. The formation occasionally collapses sending even more flames and wind scattering. The Los Angeles Times spoke to a fire behavior expert who compared the effect “to a child stomping into a puddle—except that instead of water splashing everywhere, it’s fire, heat, and ash, along with winds that move up to 50 miles per hour.”