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Photos: Smoke From The Blue Cut Fire As Seen From Space

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(Courtesy of NASA)
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(Courtesy of NASA)
Smoke and heat from the devastating Blue Cut fire, which has scorched more than 31,600 acres since Tuesday, are visible from space, as seen in these images released by NASA yesterday. The image above, taken from NASA's Suomi NPP satellite, shows the plumes of smoke billowing beyond the fire itself. The actively burning areas of the fire, detected by thermal bands, are outlined in red in the picture, according to a NASA release.

The massive spread of the smoke plume can be seen even more clearly in the image to the right, taken just before noon yesterday by NASA's Terra satellite.

Here's how the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explain what you are seeing:

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The Los Angeles metropolitan area is the large gray area on the coast in the center of the image. Three plumes from the Blue Cut Fire are clearly visible in the mountains to the north. This oblique view also shows an enormous cloud of smoke spreading northeastward over a significant portion of eastern California and Nevada. This smoke probably originated from the fire as it consumed almost 20,000 acres on the evening of Aug. 16 and traveled north overnight.

Meanwhile, both sides of the 15 Freeway through the Cajon Pass have finally been reopened, but the Blue Cut Fire continues to surge on. As of Thursday morning, it remained a mere 4% contained, according to the L.A. Times.