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Astronaut’s photos show vast scale of California wildfires

December 8, 2017

Photos from space show the incredible scale of the devastation caused by the still-raging Southern California wildfires, which have blackened almost 200,000 acres and forced thousands of people from their homes.

From his perch aboard the International Space Station 250 miles above the Earth’s surface, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik snapped a series of unsettling photos and posted them on Twitter.

“Today’s pass over SoCal unfortunately doesn’t look any better,” he said in a tweet posted on the evening of December 7. “The fires east of Camp Pendleton and in Baja are visible as well.”

Today’s pass over SoCal unfortunately doesn’t look any better. The fires east of Camp Pendleton and in Baja are visible as well. #CaliforniaWildfirespic.twitter.com/khM9TK1u0F

— Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) December 7, 2017

That glum tweet came on the heels of two earlier tweets about the fires that Bresnik posted the previous day.

Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires. #CaliforniaWildfirespic.twitter.com/TyeGx4z85Q

— Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) December 7, 2017

I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Ana’s die down soon. #Californiawildfirepic.twitter.com/qNzjTjWa4t

— Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) December 6, 2017

Earlier, NASA had posted satellite photos of the fires taken on December 5 by its Terra satellite and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2.

The Terra photo shows thick plumes of smoke streaming out over the Pacific Ocean.