Stark new imagery reveals the scary extent of West Coast wildfires

Disturbing new satellite imagery shows the vast scope of the wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon and California. Dozens of fires have turned skies orange, rained ash on cities and towns, destroyed several million acres of land and killed at least seven people. The Sept. 8 imagery comes courtesy of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University. The GIF (graphic interchange format), posted on Twitter by meteorologist Dakota Smith, combines two types of imagery from the GOES-West Satellite: GeoColor, which shows the smoke clouds and the topography below; and Fire Temperature imagery, which uses infrared cameras to pinpoint the fires themselves.

Smoke pours and swirls from the fires. Updated imagery from Wednesday (Sept. 9) shows the blanket of smoke still enveloping the coast from the northern end of Oregon down. This smoke turned skies in the Bay Area and elsewhere along the coast an eerie, apocalyptic orange.

The severe fires this year are a result of heat and dry weather, and are exacerbated by climate change, according to climate researchers.

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