The magnitude of the amount of acres burned in Alaska this fire season (over 5 million acres) was highlighted in photographs from space. According to the NASA article, Terra captures Alaska Wildfires, ”This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on August 06, 2015. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.”
From the image you can see the amount of smoke produced by the fire. It has been reported that the thick smoke has hampered firefighting efforts of the smoke jumpers in Alaska. The top cluster of fires are in the Hughes area and the bottom group of fires are known as the Middle Yukon/Ruby area fires. More information about the wildfires in Alaska can be found on the Alaska Wildland Fire Information Website. They list a pdf that is updated to show total acres burned.
Pictures of the large wildfires from the western states are also available on this site. Satellite images can be a helpful tool to firefighters to help pinpoint the fire's location and more importantly the direction of movement and spread. "These satellite images are frequently used to bring greater situational awareness to the incident meteorologist at the site of a fire,” says NOAA’s Mark Ruminski, the fire weather team leader. “The satellite data are especially useful because they give officials an overview of the fire situation and allow them to position fire fighting resources in the areas that need them most.”