As the so-called Rim Fire continues to blaze across Yosemite National Park in California, a new image taken from the International Space Station illustrates just how large the fire has grown over the past week.
Around 4 p.m. EDT Monday, the ISS flew almost directly over Yosemite National Park, allowing NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg to snap a photo of the fire and its resulting smoke from the space station.
Our orbit took us directly over California's Rim Fire about an hour ago. Devastating. August 26. pic.twitter.com/sCYXZPZTWq
— Karen L. Nyberg (@AstroKarenN) August 26, 2013
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The result is equal parts terrifying and beautiful, showing just how large the fire has grown since it began last week. Huge plumes of smoke stretch for miles across the California wilderness, marking the devastation brought by one of the largest fires the state has ever seen.
By late Monday night, the Rim Fire has grown to about 150,000 acres (roughly 230 miles), but its rate of expansion is slowing. The fire grew 16,000 acres over the past 24 hours, only half as fast as the fire grew daily last week, the Mercury News of San Jose reports. However, while the fire may be slowing down, it is still the largest active fire in the United States and the 13th-largest fire ever recorded in the state of California.