Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Stunning NASA Image Shows Three Wildfires Burning in Southern California

Climate
Stunning NASA Image Shows Three Wildfires Burning in Southern California
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image in the afternoon on Dec. 5, 2017. NASA

NASA's Terra satellite captured an image that shows the billowing smoke from three wildfires raging in Southern California on Tuesday.

The stunning photo shows the Thomas fire in Ventura County, the largest of the ongoing blazes, as well as the smaller Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County.


According to the latest updates from Cal Fire, the fast-moving Thomas Fire has burned an estimated 65,000 acres and 12,000 structures are threatened. The Rye fire and the Creek fire have charred 5,000 acres and 11,400 acres respectively.

The latest outbreaks come not long after October's string of devastating wildfires in Northern California that killed 44 people— the deadliest in state history.

ABC7 News reported that the Golden State has been experiencing a higher frequency of intense wildfires in recent years, with 13 of the largest 20 wildfires in state history breaking out since 2000.

"Our, if you want to call it, seasons have been elongated by upwards of 40-50 days over the last 50 years and continues to do so," Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean explained. "We had the five years of drought. A lot of trees died, over 102 million trees died."

Scientists have linked California's fires to rising temperatures as well as years of epic drought that dried tree canopies, grasses and brush that spark wildfires.

"There's a clear climate signal in these fires because of the drought conditions connected to climate change," Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, told InsideClimate News.

"As long as there's fuel to burn, your chances of having large fires increases when you increase temperatures. It's that simple," added Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

As NexusMedia reported, the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been the third, second and first hottest years on record to date, and each of these years hosted its own record-breaking fire in the state.

The ongoing flames have also been whipped by hot, dry and powerful winds. The National Weather Service said Monday that the area is experiencing the strongest and longest Santa Ana wind event it has seen so far this season.

Critical Red Flag conditions will persist over most of Los Angeles and Ventura through Friday.

Fire Weather Warnings/Watches

Fire Weather Warnings/Watches www.google.com

Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less
Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less
A hazy Seattle skyline due to wildfire smoke is seen on September 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson / Getty Images

Washington state residents are taking climate matters into their own hands. Beginning this month, 90 members of the public join the country's first climate assembly to develop pollution solutions, Crosscut reported.

Read More Show Less