ISS017-E-010303 (4 July 2008) --- The Basin fire in central California is featured in this image photographed by astronaut Greg Chamitoff, Expedition 17 flight engineer, on the International Space Station.
One of the largest and most destructive fires raging across California over the July 4 weekend was the Basin fire, threatening Big Sur, and covering the coast in a thick blanket of smoke. Chamitoff, observing the fires from approximately 344 kilometers above Earth (215 miles), was able to capture the regional view of the smoke pall.
At the time this image was taken, more than 300 fires were burning in California alone. This Basin fire was triggered by a thunderstorm, has burned 77,000 acres, and is still only partially contained.