Northern California fires as seen from 1,000,000 miles away

earth satellite smoke

This is what smoke from the fires in northern California looks like as seen from the Earth Polychromatic Camera on the DSCOVR spacecraft orbiting a million miles away. (via @SanGasso and NASA) 

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Northern California fires as seen from 1,000,000 miles away”

  1. My heart goes out to every living creature facing the devastating wildfires in California–a place I spent many beautiful days, weeks and years camping, touring, and living.
    God bless and keep all the firefighters and homeowners in this sad time of seeing such beautiful country come to ashes.
    All the wildlife that suffered, not able to escape quickly enough to survive, and the beautiful trees–I’ve prayed about that too.
    I guess the controlled burning and slash removal never happened or wasn’t enough to stop these fires because of the years of drought to the area. Very sad.


    (I am writing this while watching on my computer those raging, relentless fires continue to destroy Northern California – and as I’m simultaneously watching on TV Dona Klein play “Bless This House” at the organ on 3ABN.)

    I am sad at the destruction of Sonoma where I lived for 30 years and of Napa and vicinities where I have spent many precious times alone, with my Mom and Aunt, or with friends and acquaintances. These once beautiful places will never be the same again.

    I have just created a picturesque power point presentation titled “Quiet Reflections on Our Everlasting Connection” which has lots of slides of grapes, grapevines and vineyards – and which I e-mailed to my 249 readers. Not that I had a premonition that most of Sonoma and Napa would be gutted this whole week – but I really never thought that such beautiful places are now just rubbles. It is unthinkable but it is reality. Here’s a poem I wrote in 2007(I revised a few words just now)


    “O beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the fruited plain!. . .”
    To see the beauty of your vast and open skies,
    Makes me remember this musical strain,
    When I see your lush vineyards I lift up my eyes
    And see rows of “braided hair,”- my joy they sustain!

    “O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
    Whose stern impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare for freedom beat
    Across the wilderness!. . .”
    In your elders is shown a pilgrimage in life-
    For country, family, community;
    Add the best of your youth with all their mirth and might
    They blend, enhancing your grace and beauty.

    “O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife,
    Who more than self their country loved,
    And mercy more than life!. . .”
    Your city leaders, law enforcers, care givers,
    Teachers – all untiring, unsung heroes;
    With these captains in our midst, we’re safe receivers,
    Without them, nothings but chaos and woes.

    “O beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam,
    Undimmed by human tears!. . .”
    Still, the words of this familiar tune fill my mind
    As I reflect about your citizens,
    Not just your own dreams but, too, a spirit that’s kind
    To countless visitors who come your way.

    “America! America!
    God shed His grace on thee,
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea!”
    Sonoma, my American home beloved!
    May our God’s grace always bless and keep you,
    So smile, dine, create things, and to all wave a hand,
    Sonoma is forever a human art – it’s really you!

    Yes, my beloved Sonoma is America,
    Part of this land which I now call my own;
    You are my little home of peace, a replica,
    A lil’ taste of Eden – my future home.

    (Credit for quoted lyrics in the poem: Samuel A. Ward’s music combined with Katharine L. Bates’s poem was first published in 1910 and titled America the Beautiful – from Wikipedia)

    It is sad that scenes before our eyes and in many aspects of our lives do change from day to day. Nothing is permanent in this world. Everything is temporary – even our lives. We are witnessing more and more of these – not only emotional disappointments and heartbreaks – but very tangible and physical losses, such as these fires. Having experienced losing everything except my family in a fire way back in the ’70s, I know how thousands of people are heartbroken. I was heartbroken by the death of my beautiful pure white cat – with one green eye and the other orange – he did not get burned but we found him lying dead on the ashes of our house. He probably died of a broken heart himself, thinking that we’ve abandoned him, yet we looked for him for 3 days! But to lose a family member or a friend due to such a catastrophy can be inconsolable! My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one, a home, a community, a whole town or city.


    I am so sad that in a nation that knows about God – whose beliefs are based on a knowledge about God – not one of those covering the news – reporters who have seen the extent of devastation brought about by these fires – have ever reminded the public to pray to God to calm the winds and stop the fires. No one has encouraged the public to turn to God to spare the lives of those trapped, to spare homes from being burned. What they have repeatedly said is that those fires are “at the mercy of the wind!” Yes, that is partly true but the God of the universe is most powerful yet people have forgotten Him. People deny His existence. So many ideologies have changed people’s minds. God seems to be out of the picture in all these happenings. People don’t realize that this is a wake up call to know more about Him, to call on Him, to read the Bible and believe in Him. Then they will be prepared for His Son Jesus’ second coming, not as a baby in a manger but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

    Yes, we all have this real hope – we can look forward to going to heaven and living eternally when this earth is made new when He comes. I hope that everyone reading this will pause and think of how temporal or transitory life is. Should you and I die before Jesus comes, you and I will be resurrected and be given eternal life. Should we live – believing Him – we shall see Him come down from heaven with all His angels -what a grand sight to behold!

    To close, here are the lyrics of a beautiful song(you can check out the tune from the Internet)written by Albert E. Brumley. It’s a song that gives me comfort and hope:


    If we never meet again, this side of heaven
    As we struggle through this world and it’s strife
    There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven
    By the side of the river of life

    Where the charmin’ roses bloom forever
    And where separations come no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on the beautiful shore

    Soon, we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
    And perhaps, we’ll never meet anymore
    ‘Til we gather in heaven’s bright city
    Far away on that beautiful shore

    Oh, they say, we shall meet by the river
    Where no storm clouds ever darken the sky
    And they say, we’ll be happy in heaven
    In the wonderful sweet by and by
    If we never meet again this side of heaven I will meet you on that beautiful shore.

    It’s 2:53 in the morning. I am going to bed to catch some sleep – with the assurance that my life is in God’s hands! In times like these, you and I need to trust Him more than ever!
    October 14, 2017
    ©2017CustomCreationsBY RELLY JIMENEZ

    1. God bless you, those are my very thoughts, we need to pray in all things that’s happening, God is speaking to us. Thank you for your Word.

      1. Thank you! I am so glad you and I can huddle together with others under the protection of God’s wings!


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