Yosemite Rim fire visible from space in extraordinary pictures released by NASA

The space agency has used a number of different high-tech Earth-monitoring research facilities to reveal the extent of the record-breaking blaze

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The Independent US

NASA has released images taken of the giant wildfire threatening Yosemite National Park in the US, as it can be seen at night – and from space.

It is reportedly the first time images from space have been used to show a fire blazing through the night, captured by NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite, a piece of Earth-observing research equipment which the space agency says is “the first of a new generation of satellites that will observe many facets of our changing Earth”.

Over the course of four days, the progress of the fire can be tracked as it makes its way further into the national park from the west.

View a gallery of the images here

Pictures taken on the nights of the 23, 24, 25 and 26 August show the so-called Rim fire burning even brighter than the lights of Reno, Nevada, to the north.

On Wednesday US fire officials said 23 per cent of the wildfire had been contained, having consumed some 293 square miles of land.

More than 100 structures have been destroyed, while an estimated 4,500 remain threatened, along with water supplies, hydroelectric power and the famous giant sequoia trees of the park.

The fire is one of the largest in Canada’s history, and has caused air pollution problems across the state.