Much of the state of California has been on fire for days as forest fires ravage the area, destroying homes, land and life. Forest fires are not uncommon in the western part of the United States, where much of the country is affected by prolonged drought. Colorado also had some major forest fires this year. Nothing is happening in Colorado on the scale of the California fires.
NASA’s Suomi nuclear power plant satellite captured images showing the winds changing in their direction on September 6, 2020. Changing winds pushed massive clouds of smoke from the California forest fires into the Pacific. By September 10, the cloud of smoke had traveled over 1,300 miles.
In total, the massive cloud of smoke covered 963,269 square miles. So far this year 3.1
It appears that much of the west coast is currently on fire. Strong winds in the west have fueled the fires and allowed them to spread quickly. Fires consumed more than half a million acres in less than two days. So far this year there have been 12 forest fire-related deaths.
This was the worst wildfire season in a long time. The severity has been attributed to the drought, excessive heat, and high winds. Some scientists predict that forest fire events will worsen with climate change. Some of the fires burned up to 100,000 acres in a single day.