The month of August brought a rare severe thunderstorm to California. The accompanying nearly 14,000 lightning strikes that hit the state by early September ignited over 900 fires.
The August Complex fire started as 37 different fires in California’s Medocino Forest on August 17, 2020. With the complex over 325,172 acres in size, the fire is only 23% contained as it burns in five counties: Glenn County, Mendocino County, Lake County, Tehama County, and Trinity County (as of September 6, 2020).
On September 2, 2020, NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of smoke from the August Complex fire and other fires burning in California as it blows out over the Pacific Ocean.
Smoke blows over the Pacific. (2020, September 3). NASA Earth Observatory. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/147213/smoke-blows-over-the-pacific
Northern California Fires
The European Space Agency has posted high resolution imagery of the northern California fires that was taken on July 4, 2008.. A high number of fires are burning in the Big Sur and other areas in California:
More than 1000 wildfires have been burning in the area for over a week. Most of the fires were started by dry lighting and spread quickly due to this years lower-than-average rainfall and record levels of parched vegetation.
Long-burning fires are not unusual in California but the high number of fires burning simultaneously this year is unprecedented. More than 19 000 fire-fighters are trying to contain and extinguish the blazes and for the first time in over 30 years the California National Guard ground troops have been called to help.
Access the high resolution imagery here.