The West Park Complex fires are proving nearly impossible to control. The location of the fires is the biggest issue as we are talking about rocky terrain in excess of 10,000 ft in places. The continuous dry thunderstorms in the area are not helping either.

Some of the residents of the threatened town of South Fork were allowed to return today, but the threat on the town still exists. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin has an amazing satellite animation of the pyrocumulonimbus clouds and smoke plumes created by the fires. Pyrocumulonimbus clouds are massive clouds created over wildfires that are comparable to supercell thunderstorms.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

both photos in this article are from the CIMSS program