Burning oil shot into the air at a rate of five million barrels a day, turning the entire sky black with poisonous smoke, occluding the sun, and raining back to the earth for miles around, where it formed a boiling crust interlaced with veins and whirlwinds of fire. Astronauts up in space could see the clouds smeared across the gulf below; no telescope required. Left unattended, the fires would burn like this for a hundred years.
I've been watching the documentary "Fires of Kuwait", if you can't tell ... and I am flat-out amazed at what I'm seeing. Firefighters working in 2000 degree heat, spraying columns of water on their machinery to keep it from melting ... putting out fires with C4, jet engines, 200-foot pipes, and dynamite.
The use of dynamite is interesting ... The explosion creates a vacuum of air around the wellhead for a split second, just long enough to suffocate the fire. The shockwave instantly knocks a 10-inch high froth of dust up, temporarily concealing the ground.