A fire that raged in forest land in and around Yosemite National Park has left a barren moonscape in the Sierra Nevada mountains that experts say is larger than any burned there in centuries.
The fire has consumed about 400 square miles, and within that footprint are a solid 60 square miles that burned so intensely that everything is dead, researchers said.
"In other words, it's nuked," said Jay Miller, senior wildland fire ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service. "If you asked most of the fire ecologists working in the Sierra Nevada, they would call this unprecedented."
Smaller pockets inside the fire's footprint also burned hot enough to wipe out trees and other vegetation.
In total, Miller estimates that almost 40 percent of the area inside the fire's boundary is nothing but charred land. Other areas that burned left trees scarred but alive.