Image: High winds, hot weather continue to fan California fires

October 13, 2017 by Lynn Jenner, NASA
Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team

Wispy cirrus clouds obscure some of the fire and smoke from the wildfires that have consumed large portions of northern California around the wine country in this latest NASA satellite image. The acreage that the most dominant fires have consumed has jumped significantly overnight. Yesterday the Tubbs fire had destroyed 28,000 acres and today the acreage has grown to 34,270. The Nuns fire which yesterday had consumed 5,000 acres has grown to 14,698 acres. Atlas was at 26,000 acres and today is at 43,762.

The Partrick fire had affected 6,000 acres and today has grown to 10,817, and the Redwood Complex which devastated 29,500 acres has now grown to 32,100 . The California fires saw huge growth overnight without much containment. Most containment percentages of these fires remains in the single digits. Weather seems to be the hardest thing for firefighters to deal with in trying to contain the flames.

The drought conditions over the past few months have created a tinderbox in the area. Couple that with low humidity and the diablo winds (hot, dry offshore winds from the northeast that typically occurs in this area during the spring and fall) and containment is almost impossible. A Red Flag warning remains over the entire Sonoma Valley/Napa Valley area for the next few days.

This was The Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument captured a look at multiple fires and smoke in California on October 11, 2017. The Suomi NPP satellite is a joint mission between NASA and NOAA.

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