From Boston to San Francisco — comparing the sizes of seven US Cities with the largest wildfire in New Mexico

From Boston to San Francisco — comparing the sizes of seven US Cities with the largest wildfire in New Mexico

Often plain numbers won't tell us the whole story, because in terms of daily life we prefer to compare big things with something relatable — human things. It is significantly easier to imagine the size of a huge cargo ship with something like football fields or airplanes.

But when matters come to areas measured in thousands of acres, even such convenient way of representation is not enough. Yesterday Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires grew to 299,565 acres — an enormous area that is so big that maps hardly can do justice. It's approximately 20 times the area of Manhattan Island in New York.

But to let it sink, here is the total area the fires consumed over the last month, overlapped with 7 U.S. cities: San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New York, and Boston.

Even though wildfires rarely affect large cities, it's not very encouraging for the residents, who are forced to evacuate or lose their properties altogether. The impact on the lives and biosphere in general is tremendous. Unhealthy air due to smoke, destruction of infrastructure and animal habitats. The effects will be felt for years, if not decades.

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