California wildfires: This is what they look like from the International Space Station
The relentless California wildfires that have forced nearly 200,000 people from their homes and torched thousands of hectares in their wake, are so massive the smoke from the infernos is visible from space.
As nearly 6,000 firefighters battle six major blazes in Southern California, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured the smoke plumes from the wildfires, showing the dramatic impact the fires have caused.
U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik shared striking images on social media after the ISS crew was asked if they could see the fires from space.
“I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Ana’s die down soon,” the astronaut tweeted Wednesday.
Santa Ana winds have long contributed to some of the region’s most disastrous wildfires. Winds from high pressure systems blow down toward the Pacific Ocean, speeding up, drying out as they squeeze through mountain passes and canyons. In Northern California, the same wind effect is known as Diablo winds.
The largest of the blazes, dubbed the Thomas Fire, remains only 10 per cent contained as of Friday morning and has burned through over 53,000 hectares, destroying over 400 structures.
“Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires,” Bresnik tweeted.
Here’s a look at the California wildfires as seen from the ISS.
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