California is undergoing its worst wildfire season on record, and the smoke and flames can be seen from space. NASA Earth Observatory posted the natural-color image above last week (December 7, 2017) of thick smoke streaming from several fires in southern California. The largest of the blazes has been the fast-moving Thomas fire in Ventura County, California. By December 9, this fire had charred more than 132,000 acres (53,000 hectares or 206 square miles), according to Inciweb. Smaller smoke plumes from the Creek and Rye fires are also visible in the image above. See more space or aerial images of California’s fires from NASA Earth Observatory here and here.
ESA’s Copernicus satellite has been peering down on the California fires, too. Click here for interactive images from ESA.
Bottom line: A compilation of images from space, a map, and links to more stories about California’s wildfires, December 2017.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.