Imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite, 438 miles above the planet’s surface, shows the enormity of the smoke plumes emanating from the fires Tuesday. The smoke spans from the fire source locations and extends hundreds of miles out over the Pacific Ocean, whisked westward by howling winds.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-16 satellite offered a higher-resolution view of the streams of smoke pouring over the Pacific on Monday:
Here is even a tighter view of the smoke plumes Monday:
These satellites also produce imagery in which hot spots on the Earth’s surface can be detected, revealing details on the specific fire locations and their intensity. This imagery can be very helpful for fire monitoring and tracking:
The animations of the hot spots and smoke plumes can then be combined — offering a near real-time overview of where fires are burning and the direction of the smoke transport:
Over a period of days to weeks, the hot spot activity derived from the satellite imagery can be mapped, which provides important information about how fires are spreading and the success of suppression efforts:
If there is any good news, it is that the hot spot activity has diminished some Tuesday compared with Monday as winds, which fanned the flames, have begun to subside.
Tuesday morning hot spot animation
Monday morning hot spot animation