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NASA maps deadly California fire destruction from space

Sobering satellite images show how the wildfires have torn across California.

The Landsat 8 satellite caught this image of the Camp Fire on Nov. 8.

NASA/Joshua Stevens with Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey

Two major wildfires have left indelible scars across California over the last week. 

NASA's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team is tracking the devastation from above with assistance from the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites. The views are harrowing.


NASA's ARIA team created this Damage Proxy Map showing the impact of the Camp Fire in Northern California. The white rectangle shows a closer view of the town of Paradise.


NASA shared enhanced satellite map images on Monday of the Camp Fire in Northern California as of Nov. 10 and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California as of Nov. 11. 

Yellow and red spots show changes to the surface, with red indicating more severe fire damage. These views are called Damage Proxy Maps. 

"Although the maps may be less reliable over vegetated terrain, like farmland, they can help officials and first responders identify heavily damaged areas and allocate resources as needed," NASA says.

A NASA team created this Damage Proxy Map showing the path of the Woolsey Fire in Southern California near Los Angeles. The yellow and red spots indicate likely areas of fire damage.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Google Earth

The Camp Fire north of Sacramento wiped out the town of Paradise and is responsible for at least 42 deaths, making it the deadliest in the state's history. 

The Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles has claimed at least two lives and burned through the community of Malibu, claiming the famous Paramount Ranch movie set in the process.  

NASA shared satellite views of the Camp Fire last week that showed a massive smoke plume. 

The California fire tracker site reports the Camp Fire has eaten across 125,000 acres with 30 percent containment as of Tuesday. The Woolsey Fire has scorched over 96,000 acres with 35 percent containment. Firefighters continue to battle the blazes in windy and dry conditions.