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NASA shared pictures of the California wildfires from space — and the images are unreal

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NASA Earth Observatory images of Ventura County, Calif., Joshua Stevens
Photo courtesy NASA

The California wildfires are ravaging hundreds of thousands of acres of land, destroying and threatening people's homes, closing schools and causing residents to evacuate, pushed onward by the Santa Ana winds.

The wildfires are so massive they are visible from space.

NASA satellites and astronauts have been sharing images of the wildfires from space and the magnitude is staggering. The NASA images help first responders determine where and when to act, according to a post from the space agency.

The image embedded above was taken on Dec. 5 by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2 satellite and in the picture, the orange shows the active fires and the brown is the land already burned.

The image embedded below was taken by the NASA's Terra satellite on Dec. 6 and the actively burning areas are outlined in red.

Actively burning areas are red in this image of the California wildfires
Photo courtesy NASA

NASA's Disasters Program team is "closely monitoring" the wildfires, providing data that shows up to hourly updates of where the fires are burning hottest.

With $27.7 billion worth of Southern California real estate at some level of risk from the wildfires and $5 billion worth at significant risk, being able to deploy resources to where they are most needed is critical.

This fall, in the wake of Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico, NASA used its Black Marble HD technology, typically used for NASA to see lights on Earth at night, in the disaster response efforts to help identify where power was out. It was the first time NASA used its Black Marble technology in a disaster response effort.

Here are more images of the California wildfires from space.

Data & imagery of the California wildfires from our satellites, people in space and aircraft, not only give us a better view of the activity, but also help 1st responders plan their course of action.

Some new photos of forest #fires in Southern #California…

Fires continue sweeping across Southern California amid strong Santa Ana winds. Here's a new look at the smoke plumes from one of our @NASAEarth satellites

Burn scars and active fires in Ventura County, CA are visible in this false-color view created using data from @ESA's Sentinel-2 satellite on Dec. 5. Active fires appear orange, while burn scars are brown. Find out more:

During an engineering flight test of the Cloud-Aerosol Multi-Angle Lidar (CAMAL) instrument, a view from @NASAArmstrong's ER-2 shows smoke plumes, from roughly 65,000 feet, produced by the #ThomasFire , around 1 p.m. PDT on December 5th, 2017. Photo Credit: Stu Broce

Expedition 53 @NASA_Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took these photos of the California wildfires in the Los Angeles area the week of December 4, 2017.

I was asked this evening if we can see the SoCal fires from space. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. May the Santa Ana's die down soon. #Californiawildfire

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