When seen from 400 kilometres or 250 miles above the sky and the Earth, the raging plumes of wildfire that has ravaged the lands across California, the view is a heart-breaking sight.
In recent news, astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) have captured some dramatic pictures of the destructive and devastating rage of wildfire, and it can be seen as a huge, blackened and dark swath that has caused the Far East to disappear in smoke, while the glorious Golden State seems to be reduced to ashes.
Alexander Gerst, an astronaut of the European Space Agency, shared some recently clicked pictures of some enormously large fires and the viciously harmful plumes of smoke that they have left in their wake. Gerst took to Twitter on 3rd August, and tweeted these pictures with a caption that said,
California burning. These fires are frightening to watch, even from space. Here’s a shout-out from space to all firefighters on this planet, my former colleagues. Stay safe, my friends!
Ricky Arnold, another NASA astronaut and a crewmember of the ISS’s ongoing Expedition 56 alongside Gerst and other astronauts, also posted some pictures of the fire on his Twitter account on 6th August. He tweeted,
Plumes of billowing smoke from the #CaliforniaWildfires stretch eastwards [toward] the Rocky Mountains.
Currently, countless fires are raging across the scenic expanse of California, and the greatest fire is burning in the Mendocino Complex, and it has been reported to be the greatest wildfire in the history of the Golden state. The Mendocino Complex is hosting two volatile and destructive Northern Californian fires, the Ranch and River fires.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports that the River Fire has turned 19,693 hectares of land to ashes, which makes up around 48,663 acres, of which 58% has been contained so far. And the Ranch Fire has laid waste to 91,055 hectares of land, which is around 225,001 acres, and only 21% of this destructive wildfire has been contained so far.
Fortunately, the destructive fires of the Mendocino Complex fire have not caused any human casualties so far. However, unfortunately, the Carr Fire, another horribly violent fire that is blazing farther in the north, in the Shasta County, which has killed seven people so far. The Carr Fire has laid waste to 66,048 hectares of land, making up around 163,207 acres of northern California, and Cal Fire authorities report that around 45% of this fire has been contained so far.
If you want to stay abreast with the latest updates on the Carr Fire and other wildfires raging across the state of California, check out the “Incidents” page on the website of Cal Fire. These wildfires are being tracked and monitored by many other eyes aside from the diligent crewmembers of the current ISS expedition. Various satellites in the orbit, such as the Aqua Craft and NASA’s Terra, are performing the responsibility of monitoring and tracking these wildfires with great precision.