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Colorado Wildfires Are So Big They Can Be Seen From Space

The fires in Colorado continue to rage through dry forest timber, damaging both forests and towns. Coloradans have already endured the most destructive fire in state history, and while that one has abated, others have sprung up in different corners of the state. Hundreds of firefighters are currently battling the West Fork Complex and the East Peak Fire. The blazes are so large that they can be seen from space. Astronauts on the ISS took these dramatic images of the smoke plumes from the West Fork Complex and the Wild Rose Fire.

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Image Credit:ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 36 crew

The fires in Colorado continue to rage through dry forest timber, damaging both forests and towns. Coloradans have already endured the most destructive fire in state history, and while that one has abated, others have sprung up in different corners of the state. Hundreds of firefighters are currently battling the West Fork Complex and the East Peak Fire. The blazes are so large that they can be seen from space. Astronauts on the ISS took these dramatic images of the smoke plumes from the West Fork Complex and the Wild Rose Fire.

Image Credit: ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 36 crew.

The smoke from these fires reached European airspace on Monday.

Firefighters trying to contain the East Peak fire got some help from the weather last night, in the form of less than an inch of rain. It wasn’t much moisture, but it was enough. The fire is now 75 percent contained, but its scars remain on the landscape. Satellite images form NASA’s Earth observatory show what kind of impact the fire has already made in the forested area.

On June 22, 2013, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this false-color image of the East Peak fire burning in southern Colorado near Trinidad. Burned areas appear dark red, while actively burning areas look orange. Dark green areas are forests; light green areas are grasslands. Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Adam Voiland.

 

More from Smithsonian.com:

Here’s What $110 Million in Fire Damage Looks Like
Colorado Wildfire Forces Evacuations, Threatens World’s Highest Suspension Bridge
Fires Are Escaping Our Ability to Predict Their Behavior

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