California wildfires: Satellite images reveal shocking blanket of thick smoke above the west of US

Stunning new satellite imagery reveals thick blankets of smoke over California and Oregon of the raging forest fires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres this summer.

Persistent, record-breaking high temperatures, combined with an extremely dry landscape, the stage for the Carr Fire—one of the most dangerous fires that has claimed six lives and destroyed at least 874 structures in more than 98,000 acres.

In the image taken by a NASA satellite, then there is not a lot of clouds are visible and those that can be seen are bright and white. The thick patches of smoke from the forest fires, usually gray and brown in color, can be seen in a wide area of California and Oregon.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 90 fires have already burned nearly 1 million acres of land in 14 different countries. California, Oregon, and Colorado account for most of the country where the fires are still blazing.

The Carr brand is particularly fierce.

“It is ripping trees out of the ground and throwing them to the other side of the street, in the houses,” Chad Carroll, a spokesman for CalFire said Friday, reports the Associated Press. “That is strange and unusual.”

Although forest fires are a regular feature in the west of the united states, scientists have said that climate change affects the frequency and the severity of the signs.

“You see roads melt, planes can’t take off, there is not enough water,” Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, told the Chicago Tribune. “Climate change affects us in our achilles’ heel. In the Southwest, is the availability of water. On the Gulf Coast, it’s hurricanes. In the East, the floods. It is the aggravation of the risks that we have today.”

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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