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August, 2012. Many wildfires burn in northern California each summer. The majority are started by lightning. Smoke from the fires can fill the lake basin. The fire that produced the smoke in this photo started 4 miles east of the house; luckily the winds sent it further east (although that was not so good for other people). After nightfall, the air directly above the water cools off, while the air higher up is warmer. During the first few hours of daylight, the two air layers don't mix, and as you can see, the smoke layer is very distinct.