This is among the most appalling satellite images of a wildfire that I’ve ever seen


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The obscuring smoke from the Thomas Hearth — now 70 % as giant as L.A. — smothers a big swath of SoCal’s coast.

A picture acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite tv for pc reveals thick, brownish smoke billowing throughout a big space of the Southern California coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. Please click on on the picture to enlarge it. (Supply: NASA Worldview)

I’ve seen my share of satellite tv for pc photographs of wildfires. And whether or not it has been the dimension, the depth, or the huge unfold of billowing smoke, fairly just a few have horrified me.

So once I noticed the view above of the Thomas Hearth blazing between Ventura and Santa Barbara, it wasn’t as if I had by no means encountered something prefer it. Even so, once I first noticed the thick smoke obscuring a couple of 50-mile swath of the coast and pouring out far over the Pacific, I gasped out loud.

I’m not saying that to be overly dramatic. It’s simply true. Maybe I reacted in that approach as a result of I’ve spent various time down there alongside that lovely strand. So I can nicely think about what it should be like underneath that appalling pall of smoke.

A view of the Southern California coast acquired by NASA's Terra satellite before the Thomas Fire blanketed the coast in an appalling pall of smoke.

A view of the Southern California coast acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite tv for pc on Dec. four, 2017, simply earlier than the Thomas Hearth erupted close to Ventura. (Supply: NASA Worldview)

The picture was acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite tv for pc yesterday — Sunday, Dec. 10th, 2017. By the use of comparability, the picture to the best reveals what this a part of the California coast appeared prefer to Terra on Dec. 4th, simply earlier than the blaze erupted. (Please click on to enlarge it)

Sunday was day 7 of the Thomas Hearth. As of the night it had consumed 230,000 acres — 71 % as giant as your entire metropolis of Los Angeles. It’s now the fifth largest wildfire in California’s fashionable historical past — and nonetheless rising.

Right here’s a map of the hearth, from InciWeb:


To take a look at advantageous element of the hearth’s perimeter, click on on the map to enlarge it. While you do, you’ll see a finger of the hearth pointing proper at Carpinteria, which is now underneath menace, as are the communities of Summerland and Montecito simply up the coast to the west. Voluntary evacuations had been underway in these cities on Sunday.

The 2 massive lobes of the hearth pointing towards the west virtually fully enclose the neighborhood of Ojai within the mountains north of the town of Ventura.

The blaze grew by an astonishing 50,000 acres right this moment, and containment truly dropped from 15 % to 10 %. The Thomas Hearth has destroyed 790 constructions — and threatens a mind-boggling 18,000 extra, based on this night’s replace from CalFire.

This photograph posted to Twitter right this moment reveals what it appeared like from Newbury Park — about 25 miles away.

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