Skies turn orange and red during large fires as the thick smoke blocks out short colour wavelengths such as yellow, blue and green, while longer wavelength colours, such as red and orange, can still make it through.
According to NASA, the wildfires this year have been astonishingly vast, with 20 major fires and fire complexes actively burning across California in early September.
Data from the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite have shown the LNU Complex had burned 375,209 acres (586 square miles) by September 2, making it the third-largest wildfire by acreage in state history.
Vince Ambrosia, a senior research scientist at California State University-Monterey Bay, working at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said: “All these events were lightning-caused and burning in remote Mediterranean-ecosystem shrub and forested regions.
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