As it turns out, Southern California’s wildfires can not only be seen from miles away, they can be seen from HUNDREDS of miles away.
On Thursday, as wildfires raged across LA and San Diego, crewmembers onboard the International Space Station witnessed the massive plumes of smoke rising from the Earth’s landscape.
NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik took a few satellite photos of the catastrophic events. From up there, the smoke appears to look peaceful – tranquil, even – oblivious to what’s really happening down on the ground.
He later posted the images on Twitter, along with the caption, “Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires.”
For those unfamiliar with how wildfires work, space.com explained: “The fires are being fed by the desiccated remains of lush vegetation that grew during one of the wettest winters on record in California, only to endure a record warm and dry summer.
“That, plus the strong Santa Ana winds have combined to create ideal conditions for devastating wildfires.”
As of writing, the fast-moving flames have scorched more than 158,000 acres across four counties, destroying hundreds of properties and forcing residents (as well as forest animals) to flee for their lives.
“This fire just keeps on going on us,” said Capt Israel Pinzon, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.