Dramatic images show massive California wildfires from space, airplanes

A car and house are engulfed in flames as the "Wall Fire" burns through a residential area in Oroville, California on July 8, 2017.
A car and house are engulfed in flames as the “Wall Fire” burns through a residential area in Oroville, California on July 8, 2017.
(Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)

The California fire season exploded into view this weekend, with a series of big blazes. Wildfires forced nearly 8,000 people to dash for safety Sunday as flames destroyed homes and threatened thousands of structures across the state.

The fires were so big they could be seen from airplanes and satellites.


Santa Barbara County under seige

The Alamo fire, near Highway 166 in northern Santa Barbara County, was the largest active fire in California and was 15% contained after burning more than 37 square miles as of Sunday evening, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. At least 200 people were forced to evacuate a remote area east of Santa Maria, and about 1,000 firefighters from Los Angeles and across the state rushed to help control the flames, Cal Fire said.

The Whittier fire was burning just north of Goleta. The blaze scorched just over 12 square miles and burned 20 structures on both sides of Highway 154, according to officials with Los Padres National Forest.

The Stone fire, ignited Sunday just before 2 p.m. about 30 miles east of Morro Bay, according to Cal Fire’s unit in San Luis Obispo County. The fire quickly grew to 340 acres and threatened numerous structures, and was just 10% contained Sunday evening, officials said.


Home lost as residents flee

The Wall fire tore through nearly eight square miles and destroyed 10 structures in a remote part of Butte County, roughly 60 miles north of Sacramento. The blaze was threatening an additional 5,400 structures, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency and devote additional resources to the firefighting effort there.

The Winters fire in Yolo County, which registered a high temperature of 104 degrees on Sunday, burned 2,269 acres and was 85% contained, officials said.

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