Huge pyrocumulonimbus clouds just formed over fires in the West. These clouds can then advance across the landscape, sparking new wildfires as they go. Here's why they could become more common on a warmer planet.
Wildfires are threatening homes on the West Coast and in Canada, but their smoke is polluting air as far away as New York. Each plume of smoke resulting from a wildfire is a unique mixture, from the types of trees burned to buildings or other objects, including plastics, that may have been incinerated by the blaze.