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NASA astronaut sees destructive Bay Area wildfires from ISS

The Kincade Fire is eating a swath of Northern California as astronauts document the blaze from space.

NASA astronaut Drew Morgan documented some of the 2019 California fires from space. 
Andrew Morgan/NASA

California is facing another brutal year of wind-whipped wildfires

NASA astronaut Drew Morgan captured a sobering look at blazes burning near the Bay Area from the International Space Station and posted them to Twitter on Wednesday.

Morgan's photos show a smoke-streaked landscape. It's a visceral illustration of how hard the winds are blowing. "Thinking of the people who have lost their homes and the brave first responders on the front lines protecting them," Morgan wrote.

This view from the ISS shows smoke from the Kincade Fire stretched out by the wind.

Andrew Morgan/NASA

Multiple fires are burning across the state, but the Kincade Fire north of San Francisco stands out for its size and fury. As of Wednesday, it had torched over 76,000 acres, destroying structures and forcing evacuations as it spread. Continued winds complicated the ongoing battle for firefighters.

NASA is also tracking the winds and released an animation Wednesday showing wind speeds across the US in October. The space agency said the powerful winds in California were responsible for the quick growth of the Kincade Fire.

This year's fires are a devastating follow-up to 2018's deadly Camp Fire disaster

The wildfires are an unfortunate sign of the times. "According to the researchers, the annual burned area across California has increased fivefold over the past five decades, and the main driver is higher temperatures," NASA said in a release in September.