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October 22, 2007

Tabatha Thompson
Headquarters, Washington

NASA Satellite Images Show Rapid Growth Of California Wildfires

WASHINGTON - Images from NASA satellites illustrate how quickly wildfires have spread throughout Southern California. Powerful Santa Ana winds have fueled more than 10 large wildfires stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

A pair of NASA images depicts the area around Los Angeles on Sunday. The top image, captured by NASA's Terra satellite at 2:35 p.m. EDT, shows several fires giving off small plumes of smoke. Three hours later, at 5:50 p.m., NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead, showing large amounts of smoke pouring from blazes northwest of Los Angeles. Actively burning fires are outlined in red.

In the bottom image, plumes of smoke captured blowing off the coast indicate the intensity of the winds and the presence of additional fires farther south.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, these blazes have burned more than 84,000 acres since they began over the weekend. Thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes, and a state of emergency has been issued for seven California counties.

To view and download the images and for additional information, visit:


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