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Astronaut's Photo Captures Blazing Wyoming Wildfire

Astronaut photograph of Wyoming's Fontenelle Fire.
Smoke from Wyoming's Fontenelle Fire was visible aboard the International Space Station on June 27, 2012. (Image credit: NASA.)

Astronauts and satellites alike have captured ominous images from space of a fast-growing wildfire that is blazing across Wyoming.

The Fontenelle Fire, burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near the state's western border with Idaho, was first reported on the afternoon of June 24. More than 850 people are battling the blaze, and it is only 25 percent contained.

The fire has shut down roads in the region, but sofar has not destroyed any buildings or caused any injuries.

The Fontenelle Fire's reach doubled in size between June 28 and July 6, when it grew from 25,000 acres to its current size of 57,324 acres.

On July 4, a satellite captured the burn scar Wyoming's Fontenelle Fire has left behind. (Image credit: NASA.)

A crew member aboard the International Space Station, flying approximately 240 miles (386 kilometers) above Earth, captured an arresting shot of the fire's billowing smoke on June 27, the day before the blaze began its precipitous growth.

More recent satellite images, captured on July 4, show the burn scare the fire has left in its wake. In a false-color image, burned areas appear red, and vegetation that was spared appears bright green.

Dozens of fires are burning around the western United States, andatmospheric models indicate that winds have carried smoke from the multiple blazes out over the Atlantic Ocean and as far east as Greenland.

Wyoming's Fontenelle Fire is continuing to creep to the northeast, and officials expect it won't be fully contained until at least July 22.

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Live Science Staff
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