On Tuesday I got two interesting views of the ongoing fires in northern New Mexico. One was through the eye of a satellite (see below). The other (above) was out my window. I did a double take when I caught sight of this amazing cloud that was growing minute-by-minute as I watched from Placitas, New Mexico. This is a pretty special kind of cloud. It's what's called a pyrocumulus cloud and is not just smoke, but water vapor. The difference is that this cloud was created by the powerful updraft of a fire.
Video: Fire Tornado Explained
The smoke is from the Thompson Ridge fire in the Jemez Mountains, and you can see the smoke rising from behind a ridge in the lower left. Winds are dragging the smoke and clouds east.