California wildfires can now be seen from space

The devastating wildfires that have engulfed parts of California are so massive, they can be seen from outer space.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured incredible photos of the infernos while in orbit 250 miles above Earth — showing the atmosphere blanketed by thick plumes of gray smoke, according to

“California burning. These fires are frightening to watch, even from space,” European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted on Friday. “Here’s a shout-out from space to all firefighters on this planet, my former colleagues. Stay safe, my friends!”

Gerst’s ESA biography shows he once worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Astronaut Ricky Arnold, who is also aboard the ISS with Gerst, tweeted photos on Monday showing several spots burning.

“Plumes of billowing smoke from the #CaliforniaWildfires stretch eastwards toward to the Rocky Mountains,” he wrote.

California has been ravaged by deadly wildfires for weeks. A pair of blazes that are burning a few miles apart in the north have gobbled up more than 283,800 acres (more than 443 square miles) — the biggest wildfire in the Golden State’s history.

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