Time-lapse camera records moment a passing thunderstorm changes spread direction of Hennessey Fire

Napa County, California

August 18, 2020 | 2:25 p.m. PDT

Hennessey Fire 13 miles north of Napa, California, August 17, 2020. Screenshot from the video below. This shows the smoke after the wind shift.

A time-lapse camera at Atlas Peak in Napa County, California recorded the moment a wind shift caused by a passing thunderstorm August 17, 2020 suddenly changed the direction the Hennessey Fire was spreading.

If firefighters find themselves in a situation where thunderstorms could influence the wind direction on a fire, they should ensure they are in a safe location. A passing thunderstorm changed the wind direction on the Yarnell Hill Fire June 30, 2013 entrapping and killing 19 firefighters.

(To see all of the articles on Wildfire Today about the lightning-caused wildfires in California, including the most recent, click HERE.)

As of August 18 the Hennessey Fire has burned 2,700 acres; 205 structures are threatened and evacuation orders are in place. Three structures have been destroyed.

Anyone having trouble viewing the video can see it a YouTube.

Thanks go out to @bbdd333 who made the raw video footage available to us.

Wind map, April 5, 2016

The image above is a screen grab from an animated graphic showing the wind speed and direction in the United States at 1:35 p.m MDT today. This image does not do it justice. Go to the Wind Map site and become mesmerized by the animation.

The map gives us a clue that firefighters working on the fire in Woodward County in northwest Oklahoma might be challenged to keep up with it.