VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Fire Department shared a time lapse video of the plume over the northwest part of the Thomas Fire in Southern California. The department said the plume is a good example of how fires can create their own weather conditions.
In a Facebook post, fire officials said, "The heat from the fire causes a rapid rise of gases and smoke as seen in this plume or smoke. Once that column hits cooler air in the atmosphere, it can change direction and then the column can collapse. The downward rush of air from a collapsing column can change the direction of the winds on the ground and create hazardous conditions."
Thousands of firefighters are making headway Tuesday against the vast Thomas Fire in Southern California, with winds decreasing to 15 to 25 mph and the Santa Ana wind event beginning to wane.
The blaze, which is larger than New York City, and was about 20% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to the Cal Fire.