California wildfire’s scale revealed as Bobcat Fire scorches Los Angeles County
The blaze has generated tremendous amounts of smoke that has choked the greater Los Angeles area with poor air quality.
More than two dozen homes were destroyed or damaged as the blaze burned through the Juniper Hills and Littlerock neighborhoods near Palmdale, but the blaze has mostly worked its way through the national forecast.
Fire experts at NASA monitored the blaze from satellite sensors including the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite, which revealed the burn scar from the blaze.
The image released by NASA also shows where the active fires are burning (shown in bright red), scarred land that is burning (seen in darker red), intact vegetation (pictured in green), and where urban development is located.
Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger wildfires in America to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, especially because climate change has made California much drier. A drier California means plants are more flammable.
“Four of the five largest fires ever recorded in California were burning at the same time as the Bobcat fire,” said Natasha Stavros, a wildfire expert with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Climate change contributes to megafires like these by heating fuels up, drying them out, and making them more flammable.”
So far this year, more than 8,100 California wildfires have scorched 5,780 square miles, destroyed more than 7,000 buildings, and killed 26 people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.