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Southern California Under Smoke – Groves of Giant Sequoias Threatened by Intense Fires

The KNP fire complex and Windy fire are threatening groves of giant sequoias and prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders.

NASA satellites first detected signs of the KNP fire complex and the Windy fire within Sequoia National Park and the Tule River Reservation on September 10, 2021. Two weeks later, the lightning-triggered and wind-fueled blazes have spread and grown more intense, threatening groves of giant sequoias and prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders.

On the morning of September 24, 2021, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 17 (GOES-17) captured this natural-color image of vast plumes of smoke streaming from the fires and smothering Southern California. GOES-17 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); NASA helps develop and launch the GOES series of satellites.

As of September 24, 2021, firefighting authorities in California reported the Windy fire was 6 percent contained and the KMP fire complex was 0 percent contained.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using GOES 17 imagery courtesy of NOAA and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).


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