Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features smoke in the valleys of British Columbia near the towns of Golden and Revelstoke.
The image was captured on August 16, 2023 by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
“Extreme heat, bouts of strong winds, and a prolonged drought are fueling large forest fires in western Canada and the United States,” said NASA.
“The surge in fire activity follows the peak of an extreme heat wave that broke dozens of heat records in British Columbia on August 14.”
“But even as temperatures cooled some in the following days, lightning storms triggered new fires, and strong winds turned small blazes into fast-moving, smoky infernos.”
Air quality alerts were issued in both the United States and Canada and some communities were evacuated due to the threat of fire and smoke.
According to data published by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, Canada is facing one of the worst fire years it has seen in decades.
By August 17, more than 33.9 million acres had burned, which is more than seven times the 25-year average.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory