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Incredible satellite video shows the moment a massive Colorado dust storm more than 10 miles wide collides with three New Mexico wildfires
- Satellite imagery from space shows the moment a massive dust storm in the western United States collided with three wildfires
- Colorado dust storm spanned hundreds of miles and travelled at around 60 mph
- Storm collided with wildfires, some of the largest in New Mexico state history
Incredible satellite imagery from space shows the moment a massive dust storm in the western United States collided with three wildfires.
Over a period of two hours on Friday evening, a time lapse video shows the enormous sandstorm, tens of miles wide descending from southern Colorado as it eventually becomes entangled with the smoke from wildfires burning nearby in New Mexico.
When sped up, the video is truly mesmerizing as the band of sand meets the thick white smoke from blown eastwards over the mountains.
Satellite imagery from space shows the moment a massive dust storm in the western United States collided with three wildfires
Colorado dust storm spanned hundreds of miles and travelled at around 60 mph
The storm collided with wildfires, some of the largest in New Mexico state history
The images were captured by a satellite owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The smoke came from a wildfire outbreak in northern New Mexico which started in April and has only become worse in the last two weeks with a drought and high winds fueling the flames.
The total area of land burning in the satellite image is roughly 380 square miles, an area larger than the city of Indianapolis.
The dust storm which descended from the north was pushed along by violent winds in Colorado.
This photo provided by Renee Valdez shows plumes of smoke rising into the air, from wildfires in Las Vegas, New Mexico on Monday
Smoke and dust sweep across a field near Las Vegas, New Mexico on Wednesday
A slurry bomber dumps the fire retardant between the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire and homes on the westside of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Several types of aircraft joined the fight to keep the fire away for the Northern New Mexico town
‘Visibility is dropping to near zero and winds are gusting to 50-60mph within this blowing dust,’ the National Weather Service said at the time.
Dust particles were blown hundreds of miles across southeastern Colorado, western Kansas, and the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.
Both the dust storm and wildfires are symptomatic of natural disasters that are becoming ever more common and severe.
As of Wednesday, seven large fires were still burning in New Mexico with the satellite imagery showing three of them.
The westernmost fire is the Cerro Pelado fire currently consuming 27,000 acres near the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
A firefighting plane flies over a plume of smoke near Las Vegas, New Mexico on Wednesday
A CL-415 enhanced aerial firefighter, better known as a Super Scooper, makes numerous bombing runs to drop water on the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burning near Luna Community College
Leonard Padilla and 5-year-old Ivan Padilla watch a wildfire burning near Las Vegas, New Mexico on Tuesday. Flames raced across more of New Mexico’s pine-covered mountainsides Tuesday, charring more than 217 square miles over the last several weeks
In the north, the Cooks Peak fire covers about 59,000 acres near Taos.
To the south, the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires merged into one massive 160,000 acre inferno forcing 13,000 people in the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico to leave their homes.
The last 20 years have been the driest in the last 12 centuries, according to the New York Times which has been caused as a result of climate change, and there are no indications that conditions will improve in the near future.
The Hermits Peak Fire was started deliberately in order to clear out dry vegetation and reduce the risk of larger, uncontrolled fires but then gusty winds blew it out of control.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday approved a disaster declaration for parts of drought-parched New Mexico hit by wildfires and ordered federal aid be made available for recovery efforts, the White House said.
Smoke rises on a ridge behind homes on the outskirts of Las Vegas, New Mexico
Martina Gonzales and her grandson, Lukas Lee Mora, 4, walk outside of their home in Las Vegas, New Mexico as a plume of smoke rises in the distance Tuesday
A fire warning sign is pictured in Las Vegas, New Mexico on Tuesday
The rash of wildfires, which includes the biggest active blaze in the United States, have started earlier this year and are more widespread than normal due to climate change, according to scientists.
Federal funding will be made available for the northern New Mexico counties of Mora and San Miguel where the second-largest wildfire in state history has burned hundreds of homes and properties and threatens the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The president’s action also provides support to Lincoln County where two people died in April in a blaze in the mountain resort town of Ruidoso that destroyed over 200 homes.
Other counties covered in the declaration include Colfax and Valencia which also suffered wildfires in early April, a month earlier than normal, according to fire officials.
Plumes of smoke from wildfires are seen from Highway 518, a few miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico
Brianna Valencia-Encinias and her son Lucas Encinias, 8, walk their goats in a field in Las Vegas, New Mexico as the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns southwest of town. Their family had been evacuated from Rociada and are now staying at her grandparent’s farm along with their chickens, goats, horses, dogs and other animals
A burned building is seen in the Pendaries Village following a wildfire near Las Vegas, New Mexico, on Monday. Wind-whipped flames are marching across more of New Mexico’s tinder-dry mountainsides, forcing the evacuation of area residents and dozens of patients from the state’s psychiatric hospital as firefighters scramble to keep new wildfires from growing. The big blaze burning near the community of Las Vegas has charred more than 217 square miles
The decree provides grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help people recover from the effects of the disaster, according to a statement from the White House.
‘This is definitely a step in the right direction,’ said Michael Salazar, 55, who lost his home in the San Miguel County fire and was camping with other evacuees in Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas.
Winds dropped in Mora and San Miguel Counties on Wednesday, giving firefighters a chance to prepare areas near Las Vegas for strong winds forecast at the weekend.
To the north, firefighters kept fire out of much of the village of Mora and created containment lines near the communities of Cleveland and Holman.
Northern New Mexico has had strong winds for 24 out of the last 30 days.
A burned golf cart is seen in an RV park following a wildfire near Las Vegas, New Mexico
Smoke and dust sweep across a field near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The state was in the bull’s eye for the nation’s latest wave of hot, dry and windy weather
A firefighting plane drops water over a plume of smoke near Las Vegas, New Mexico on Wednesday
Source: Daily Mail