Massive smoke plumes from southern California fires can be seen from space
Whipping Santa Ana winds are playing a huge role in how quickly the Thomas Fire is spreading across Ventura County, California. Fire officials say it's a "very bad scenario." USA TODAY
Massive plumes of smoke from wildfires raging in southern California were captured in a NASA satellite image Tuesday.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took the photo in the afternoon, as the Thomas fire in Ventura County destroyed more than 50,000 acres with help from fierce Santa Ana winds. Smoke streams can also be seen from the Creek and Rye fires.
The wildfires, which started Monday evening in Santa Paula, Calif., have grown to at least 55,000 acres, or 85.9 square miles, early Wednesday with no containment in sight, according to authorities.
The deadly fires comes less than two months after a series of wildfires roared through Northern California's wine country, killing more than 40 people and incinerating thousands of homes. So far in 2017, wildfires have scorched some 1,700 square miles in California, an area roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Cheri Carlson and John Bacon contributed to this story.
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