Pyrocumulus Cloud Over the Colorado Rockies

June 21, 2012

SmokeHighParkFire_5938 (2)

: Richard H. Hahn 
Summary AuthorRichard H. Hahn; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a conspicuous pyrocumulus cloud enveloping the Colorado Rocky Mountains, about 25 mi (40 km) to the north/northeast of Estes Park, Colorado. It developed during the immense High Park fire, one of the biggest wildfires in the history of Colorado, which began in mid June of 2012. Intense heat from the fire generated powerful updrafts that helped form this pyrocumulus cloud. The High Park Fire was evidently sparked by a lightning strike and fueled by desiccated vegetation and beetle-damaged conifer trees. Photo taken on June 17, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 5D; Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Focal Length: 96.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10.0 Macintosh.