In 2011, a New Mexico wildfire went from normal to nuclear, kicking up a 45,000-foot column of tornadic winds and burning debris. Three local scientists set out to learn why. Below, a breakdown of how a the 2011 Las Conchas wildfire blew up on June 27. This way for the full story.
Experts expected the fire to die down with the cool night air. Instead, it flared into an inferno. Here’s the likely culprit.