Wildfires in California are raging on earth below, as the present crew activity is underway to receive a crew member replacement. The space station is now at the elevated orbit to receive the next spacecraft.
Two International Space Station crews are preparing to swap places at the orbital lab next week. In the midst of the crew swap activities, Commander Randy Bresnik also sent down dramatic photographs of the wildfires in California.
The Expedition 52-53 trio is getting its Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft ready for a three-and-a-half hour ride back to Earth on Dec. 14 after 139 days in space. Sergey Ryazanskiy, the Soyuz Commander, will lead his crewmates Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency to a parachuted landing on the steppe Kazakhstan.
Next, the Expedition 54-55 trio will blast off Dec. 17 aboard the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft and take a two-day trip to its new home in space. Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran cosmonaut from Roscosmos, will lead the flight to the station flanked by first-time astronauts Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Back on orbit, Bresnik shared pictures he took on social media of the wildfires threatening the greater Los Angeles area in southern California. He wrote on his Twitter account, “Thank you to all the first responders, firefighters, and citizens willing to help fight these California wildfires.”
UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.
As California, USA, has moved deeply into its fourth year of severe drought with a 90% assurance of an upcoming “El Nino” periodic, wet weather event for fall and winter approaching, it will not come soon enough for the statewide wildfires we are enduring this summer.
Although, the recent hurricane Delores that hit Mexico this past month brought a good deal of direly needed rainfall northward to the area Sierra mountain chain and some valley floor parts of central and southern California, as well, it also brought unwelcome lightning strikes, too. Some of these static electrical events caused hill and range fires in widely remote areas, as well as, in very difficult terrains to manage. This has created a very dangerous fire containment situation encroaching on rural homes in hard to reach areas. Many homes, to date, have been lost.
The following photos are of the ongoing and recent wildfires courtesy of the Sacramento Bee:
I originally reported this multiple fire event on Facebook and other social media and the responses were so incredible I have been moved to create this article. National media has been covering events as they unfold; however, there are so many more areas of the world that are yet to know about what is happening here. Hence, I am reporting the following occurrences as they unfold.
[Tweet “Please pray for the valiant firefighters battling California wildfires.”]
As of August 1, 2015, over 8,000 firefighters, statewide, are battling over 18 different blazes of different intensities. Many helicopters and other aircraft not normally involved, have been pressed into service to aid in the firefighting efforts. On August 2, 2015, it has been reported that one brave firefighter has lost his life in the battle, which has included protecting existing homes and families from the fires’ onslaughts, accelerated by ever-present, windy conditions.
Of the many videos and reports in the state in the last few days, there were recent events of a wildfire in southern California that in seconds, engulfed a number of vehicles traveling on Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass while stranded in gridlock, east of Los Angeles county. In this case, no lives were lost, fortunately.
Please click on the following comprehensive video link provided courtesy of NBC News:
Areas most seriously affected have been the Lake County district, known as the Rocky fire, as well as, others throughout the state as far south as San Diego county and as far north as Humboldt and Modoc counties. The Rocky fire is just 5% contained and as this article is written there is an ongoing increase in fire containment, hourly.
Please keep these valiant firefighters, aircraft pilots, and related in-field supporters in your prayers. One personal loss, as in the death of David Ruhl while responding to a fire in Modoc National Forest, a father who leaves behind a family, friends and other loved ones, is too much to bear for another fatality.
For further information and updates, please view the recent Google Map rendering provided by CAL FIRE (California Fire Department) provided below:
California has experienced drought conditions much like the rest of the United States over the years, especially in the 1930’s. However, in recent times, this has been the worst I have personally experienced since I first moved to the state in 1985. Again, until the fall and winter of 2015 when rains again return, please do pray for the brave men and women who do all they can to protect and save not only the human living condition, they are always working to save our historic, valuable environment the state of California offers to its inhabitants.
The following photo is from the Lake Arrowhead, 2003, San Bernardino County, courtesy Troy Whitman. This demonstrates how ferocious wildfires can be: