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In the following video recorded on the Hirz Fire, FUSEE Board Member, Mike Beasley, along with the Incident Meteorologist and Air Resource Advisor describe the nature and importance of inversions.  First, a balloon is launched to capture an atmospheric sounding. Inversions are an indicator of atmospheric stability. With atmospheric stability smoke and clouds tend to form in layers that resist mixing, often inhibiting fire behavior below the inversion. The opposite condition, atmospheric instability, is when air wants to rise in a column, as in a towering cumulus cloud, a cumulonimbus cloud associated with a thunderstorm, or a towering pyrocumulus column above a large fire.   An unstable atmosphere is most often associated with critical or extreme fire behavior.