There are more than a dozen wildfires blazing in California, with weather conditions causing the fires to grow further.
Hot temperatures and warm winds are providing the ideal atmosphere for fires to flourish, fanning the flames further along the dry brush.
Grass, trees and foliage have been dried out by the constant hot weather, causing tinderbox like material for the fires to spread to.
July was the hottest month on record for the state, with a national average temperature of 75.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
NASA has been observing California’s blazes from space using powerful satellites.
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold took images of the Earth and the threatening wildfires on August 3, 2018, from his vantage point onboard the International Space Station, writing on Twitter: «Plumes of billowing smoke from the #CaliforniaWildfires stretch eastwards toward to the Rocky Mountains.»
However, details of the flames in some images of the Mendocino Complex fire are obscured due to the thick, heavy smoke rising up.
Towers of thick grey smoke can be seen towering over California as the fires continue to rage.
The Mendocino fire in north-western California is now the largest fire in the state’s history, growing to more than 300,000 acres.
It is 47 percent contained as more than 4,000 firefighters work to beat the blaze and more than 10,000 structures are threatened by flames.
Holy Fire in southern California has triggered the mandatory evacuations of 20,000 residents as it burns across both Orange and Riverside Counties.
These two counties are the most populous in the whole state of California.
NASA has released a warning alongside the images or the number of pollution wildfires can cause.
According to NASA, the “fires are causing huge amounts of destruction, but they are also creating health hazards with the amount of smoke that is being pumped into the atmosphere.”
Citing a study by Georgia Institute of Technology, which “found that particle pollution from wildfires, long known for containing soot and other fine particles known to be dangerous to human health, is much worse than previously thought.
“Naturally burning timber and brush from wildfires release dangerous particles into the air at a rate three times as high as levels known by the EPA, researchers at Georgia Tech found.
“The study also found wildfires spew methanol, benzene, ozone and other noxious chemicals.”
Air quality is at its worst in the north of California, with measurements registering as “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” according to too the state’s air quality website.
As a result of the poor air quality, several schools have been closed including Menifee Union District and Perris High School Union.
Residents in areas worst affected are being warned to shut windows and doors, as well as to set air conditioning units in homes and cars to circulate to avoid drawing in smoky air.
Follow the latest California fires updates here.