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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

50 Shades of Red

Yosemite's rim fire now covers the largest area of the United States in 2013

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, September 5, 2013/Categories: photography, sustainability, environment

According to national fire statistics, California's Rim Fire is now the largest in the United States in 2013. It is also the fourth largest in California's history since fire records began being kept in 1932.

Since mid-August, the Rim Fire fire has burned nearly 375 square miles of chaparral, oak, and pine forests in the mountains near and in Yosemite National Park. A photo-mosaic topographic map shows the progression of the fire in different red colors from August 17 to September 3:


Rim Fire, Yosemite, CA August 17-September 3, 2013 (credit: NASA)

Another image captured by orbiting Landsat cameras shows smoke from the active fire fronts in natural colors. The air quality has been impacted and degraded over a vast region from California to Nevada and beyond.

Rim Fire Smoke Coverage, Yosemite, CA (credit: NASA)

California continues to experience a severe drought with some southern counties receiving only one-third of their normal rainfall in 2013. Climate change models all predict increases in the severity of storms and drought. However, actual events appear to be occuring faster than the models originally estimated.

Fifty Shades of Red may turn into the new color for the Golden State and elsewhere.


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