As dozens of fires burn across the West Coast, smoke is showing up on satellite maps traveling across the US and toward Europe.
The wildfires are responsible for killing more than 30 people. In addition, they are responsible for displacing tens of thousands of residents from their homes along the western United States.
Lightning strikes, along with dry conditions back in August, are responsible for many of the fires. The worst-hit states being California and Oregon with millions of acres of land charred already.
The jet stream has carried smoke across the United States and the Atlantic Ocean and has reached European shores.
NASA says that the events are a “perfect storm of meteorological factors”. These factors are aiding to the “extreme burning” in the area.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has extended its smoke advisory warning through today as the smoke from numerous fires blankets the area.
Researchers say that this year’s fires are the worst in 18 years, and it’s due to climate change.
California Governor Gavin Newson says this year they have already seen 7,606 fires. On the other hand, California saw only 4,972 fires in 2019.
Due to the fact that the smoke is seen thousands of miles away shows “just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration”, says Mark Parrington, a senior scientist from the European Commission’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
The reason behind this year’s intense fires is due to the “long-term drying and warming of both the air and vegetation,” says Vincent Ambrosia from the NASA’s Earth Applies Sciences Programs wildlife reacher team.
More than 17,000 firefighters are battling the blaze of 20 major fires in California alone.