Smoke smothers Southern California in gripping photos from space

Striking images show California wildfires from space

NASA released photos taken from the International Space Station, which show heavy clouds of smoke billowing from California's mountainous terrain.

Astronaut Randy Bresnik also shared pictures from the International Space Station after someone asked whether he could see the fires from space.

Thursday's fire prompted closure of state Highway 76 in both directions and evacuations in an area near the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Yes Faith, unfortunately we can. Active fires appear orange; the burn scar is brown.

Powerful Santa Ana winds fanned the flames. They issued red flag warnings for Los Angles and Ventura counties through December 8, noting that isolated wind gusts of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour are possible.

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One showed the solar array of the space station with California down below, and in the distance, smoke streaming off the coast and into the ocean.

"Firefighters continue to work aggressively to protect life and property while working on control efforts around the fire perimeter", CalFire said in an incident update.

A Los Angeles County Fire helicopter flies over the Skirball Fire which began early morning in Bel-Air, Calif., Dec. 6, 2017.

Earlier, NASA had posted satellite photos of the fires taken on December 5 by its Terra satellite and the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2.

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