September 9, 2020 at 1:26 PM EDT

The view of the West Coast fires from space is shocking

Satellite imagery of the wildfires shows the extensive effects of this unfolding disaster. Meteorologists and climate scientists have been stunned to see this imagery Wednesday, given that the smoke extends up and down the entire West Coast and out into the Pacific, with tendrils reaching northward toward the Gulf of Alaska.

Some of the largest blazes are burning in Oregon, where fires have burned more than 200,000 acres in just a couple of days. Meanwhile in California, more than 2.5 million acres have burned so far this season — a record, according to Cal Fire.

This satellite animation shows both the smoke and satellite detection of hot spots of the fires themselves:

By Andrew Freedman

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