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California in flames

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season is the worst on record.

This image was acquired via the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on December 5. Image via NASA Earth Observatory.

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.

Why is southern California burning in December? A climate scientist’s answer

ESA’s Copernicus satellite has been peering down on the California fires, too. Click here for interactive images from ESA.

California wildfires, December 2017, via ABCNews.

Bottom line: A compilation of images from space, a map, and links to more stories about California’s wildfires, December 2017.

Deborah Byrd

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