Photography: Pyrocumulus Clouds

Wildfires are becoming part of summer here in California. Last week we broke several heat records as numerous forest fires raged in various parts of the state. The one nearest to me, about 45 miles away, is the Mosquito Fire. It currently is about 10 percent contained and has burned more than 46,000 acres.

My daughter and I took a drive up the hill to photograph the rather remarkable pyrocumulus clouds we could see filling the sky. There were lots of campers and trucks driving in the opposite direction and we had to wonder if they were people being evacuated or who might have lost their homes. As we stood at a scenic overlook the mood was somber and quiet. Everyone was awed, scared, and overwhelmed by the enormity of what we were seeing.

My heart goes out to those affected by this fire and others in the state. I’ve included some photos at the end of the blog of the beautiful sky this morning and the new growth in my yard. I think it’s important to remember after a fire the land will rebuild and plants will regrow.

What to see more?

57 thoughts on “Photography: Pyrocumulus Clouds

    • The ash and smoke were so terrible on Friday I kept my children home from school. It’s better today, but it’s becoming far too normal. I’m sorry to hear this happens in Washington state as well. I hope you stay safe.


  1. You have the eye of a photographer and the heart of a poet. Beautiful yet somewhat scary photos. Thank you for the beautiful look at your yard at the end! My brother lives in Arizona, and if we even hear of a fire in the state, it’s a thousand are you okay phone calls and dropping to our knees. So, I have to ask, “Are you okay? Any prayer requests?” How is your Mom today?

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  2. It hurts to live these situations up close, but it is part of life itself, the cycle of nature to be reborn. My solidarity with those affected and beautiful shots you share with us today, especially the last photos as they are more shocking with how beautiful nature is.
    Greetings and hugs from afar, Bridgette.

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  3. Your photographs are amazing (as always); I had no idea there were such things as Pyrocululus clouds. I’m sorry you’re experiencing wildfires near where you live, although I know they are happening everywhere these days because of climate change. It’s terrifying to see how fast these occurrences are developing and spreading. I feel so much for the people who have lost their homes and livelihoods; I feel for the creatures being destroyed in our ecosystem and the loss of the trees, which are needed for so many animals to survive. I appreciate that trees grow back, but unfortunately, it takes decades to grow a tree to the size of a mature one. Without their habitats, animals and insects die.

    What is your temperature like out there now? Are you still experiencing heat waves? Even in the UK, we had a heatwave this summer with unprecedented temperatures of 40C. Two roads away from me, a fire was started by some ignorant, unthinking person who threw a cigarette butt onto the ground. The fire destroyed 15 gardens, sheds and fences and damaged the outside of properties (guttering melting etc.) One cat was injured, and another sadly died. It was awful. I know our fires aren’t as bad as wildfires elsewhere, naturally, but because we were experiencing a drought at the time and the ground and grass were tinder-dry, the fire really took hold. I even got up the following day to find a coating of ash on all my garden surfaces, windowsills, bins, flower pots etc. It’s becoming a frightening world. Thanks for sharing your photos of new life growing. It gives me hope amidst the despair. Thanks for sharing them, Bridgette … Ellie xx 🦢🌷🌴😘

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    • Thank you for sharing your story, Ellie. That sounds like a terrifying event and I’m so sad to hear a cat’s life was lost. Poor dear!

      Like most of the world, we’ve had a super hot summer breaking a bunch of records, but I’m happy to say today is nice and breezy and cool. I’m afraid the wind might be bad for the firefighters though. Pray they stay safe and the fires stay clear of people and their homes.

      Although it takes a long time for the forests to regrow, it’s supposed to grow back stronger with a richer soil. I have to look for the positive otherwise it’s simply too sad.

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