NASA footage from the International Space Station has revealed the startling extent of the wildfires spreading across the American Southwest.
Press play up above, and you'll see what governor John Hickenlooper has rather accurately described as "the worst fire season in Colorado history." There are some 250 different wildfires raging—they have caused one fatality and destroyed hundreds of homes. 36,000 residents have been evacuated, prompting Obama to stop by to check out the devastation.You'll also see some of the other blazes scouring the western half of the United States—New Mexico, for example, is still very much on fire too. All told, nearly 1 million acres have been burnt up this summer.
It's weirdly hypnotic to watch massive fires consume huge swaths of the nation from the distant camera of a satellite in space; the trailing mass of smoke just looks like another layer of clouds or a permanent feature of the landscape. Which, given the hitherto unperturbed advance of climate change, it soon will be.