Stark Images from Fire Country

Smoke from space and a wind farm framed by wildfire

California’s fire season is off to a mercifully late start this year — but could make up for it in ferocity.

Two images came across today that underscore the deep impression that fire can make on the landscape. First, this image from space of smoke from the ongoing Texas wildfires.

A smudge on the Blue Marble: Smoke plumes rise from Texas wildfires.

The photo perspective is looking west, with the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico visible to the left. It’s one of a series of photos tweeted by NASA Astronaut Ron Garan today.

The other is a video clip of the Canyon Fire, which has already claimed homes and caused evacuations in Kern County. The video was posted to YouTube by a user identified as GrungeHobbit.

While spring rains and an enormous Sierra snowpack have largely spared California from the horror of the Texas fire season, fire officials warn that all that water also spurs a burst of vegetation that can add fuel to late-season blazes.