Watch from NASA satellites as the Fort McMurray fire spreads

Space offers a different perspective entirely on the destruction

MAC33_SPACE_IDEAS_POST07The speed with which the fire in and around Fort McMurray is spreading has caught many off guard. As of Thursday afternoon it had consumed 85,000 hectares, up from 10,000 the day before. One way of understanding its ferocious growth is to compare it in size to other cities, which we did here. But space offers a different perspective entirely.

The following GIF animation draws on satellite images provided by NASA Worldview captured over five days starting May 1. The red dots show fires and thermal anomalies and reveal just how far the fire was able to spread in a matter of days.

NASA Fort Mac fire

For more coverage of the fire, visit Maclean’s special collection of stories answering frequently asked questions about the fire, accessible through the banner below.