AS SEEN FROM SPACE
NASA satellites continue to capture remarkable new images of the wildfires raging in Southern California. At least 14 massive fires are reported to have scorched about 425 square miles from north of Los Angeles to southeast of San Diego.
These latest images, captured by NASA satellites on the afternoon of October 22, show the thick, billowing smoke coming off the numerous large fires and spreading over the Pacific Ocean. Fire activity is outlined in red.
Dry, drought-stricken vegetation and Santa Ana winds, which can reach hurricane speeds, have contributed to the devastating effect of these blazes. The National Interagency Fire Center reports that the Santa Ana winds are expected to continue through Wednesday.
Today, President Bush issued an emergency declaration for seven California counties, ordering federal disaster relief to the area. The President also plans a visit to the region on Thursday.
This is the largest evacuation in California history with over half a milion people fleeing their homes and businesses.
More than 1,400 homes have been burned.
One person has died as a result of the fires.
42 people have been injured, including 21 Firefighters.
400,000 acres have been burned.
8,000 Firefighters are currently battling the fires.
The fires are threatening 68,000 more homes.