Astronaut Sees Devastating California Wildfires from Space (Photos)

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan shared a trio of images of fires in Northern California on Oct. 30, 2019.
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan shared a trio of images of fires in Northern California on Oct. 30, 2019. (Image credit: NASA)

Northern California is dotted by fires so devastating that their plumes can be seen from space.

The largest of these fires is the Kincade Fire, which covers 76,825 acres (310 square kilometers) and is 30% contained as of this morning (Oct. 30), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan was able to photograph the wildfires from his perch on the International Space Station.

"Thinking of the people who have lost their homes and the brave first responders on the front lines protecting them," Morgan wrote in his tweet sharing three images.

Related: In Photos: Past California Wildfires As Seen from Space

The Kincade Fire ignited on Oct. 23 and has destroyed 189 structures, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Farther south in California, more fires are burning, including two serious blazes in the Los Angeles area. One of those fires threatened the Getty Museum and required the evacuation of 10,000 structures; the other is nearly contained but prompted tens of thousands of people to evacuate homes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Morgan arrived at the space station in July and will remain in orbit until March. He is completing an extended, nine-month spaceflight, a schedule rearrangement prompted by the weeklong flight of spaceflight participant Hazza Ali AlMansoori from the United Arab Emirates

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.