Wildfires are still burning throughout Texas. These fires are vast enough to be seen from space, as a video from NASA shows below. External cameras mounted on the International Space Station, as well as handheld cameras, captured these dramatic views on Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Here is the current situation as reported September 8, 2011 by the Texas Forest Service.
· On September 7, 2011, the Texas Forest Service responded to 20 new fires for 1,422 acres, including new large fires in Red River, Smith, and Cherokee/Rusk counties.
· In the past seven days. the Texas Forest Service has responded to 176 fires for 126,844 acres.
· A more comprehensive assessment has been completed on largest fire – in Bastrop County, Texas – by FEMA and the Texas State Operations Center. The total number of homes destroyed in the Bastrop fire is now confirmed at 1,386. Approximately 240 additional homes have been reported lost on other fires across the state of Texas since Sunday, for a total of approximately 1,626 homes destroyed in Texas this week.
· 250 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
Temperatures in Texas have cooled this week from this summer’s devastating heat, but the drought continues without relief – there is still no rain in the forecast for central Texas where the largest fires are burning.
Bottom line: As of September 9, 2011, Texas is still dry, and parts of Texas are still burning.
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.