A NASA satellite passing over California on Friday captured an arresting image: Smoke trailing from the Wine Country fire in Santa Rosa and Napa more than 550 miles south into the Pacific Ocean off San Diego.
The photograph was taken by the Terra satellite using a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS instrument. It shows a stream of smoke originating from Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, extending into the eastern Pacific Ocean at least as far south as San Diego, a distance of 550 miles, NASA said.
The death toll from Northern California’s devastating wildfires grew to 41 on Saturday – the deadliest period in the state’s fire history – but an army of 10,000 firefighters continued battling Sunday to save neighborhoods and entire wine country towns. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated since Oct. 8. Statewide, more than 5,700 structures have burned, including nearly 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa.
Smoke from the fires has blanketed much of Northern California at various times over the past six days, sparking air quality warnings and curtailing outdoor activities in many communities.