Fire-fighters, Work and Conservation

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Satallite image of California fires
Copernicus Sentinel-3 image of USA Wildfires 2020

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2020 / CC BY-SA 3.0-IGO (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0-igo)

Western US states have been battling close to 100 wildfires, blanketing the majority of the west coast in smoke. Captured on 10 September, this Copernicus Sentinel-3 image shows the extent of the smoke plume which, in some areas, has caused the sky to turn orange. In this image, multiple fires can be seen in the states of California, Washington and Oregon – the areas hit hardest by the blazes – producing the thick plume of smoke which can be seen travelling westwards. Based on additional data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, as of 10 Sept 2020, the smoke was visible travelling 2000 km west of the active fires. The urban regions of Portland, Eureka, Eugene, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento are all blanked in smoke.

The day before and the day after the Feast of St Francis of Assisi (Usually October 4) are days of prayer for the Care of Creation, what they call ‘Rogation Days’. But this year because of Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) we moved the Feast of St Francis. So I am making today a reminder of the Care of Creation days, and suggest you go back and read them again.

Today will also have prayers for those who work. I particularly at this time want to bring to your attention the work of fire-fighters. Recently our Nightly News is full of the conflagration in California.

As of October 2, 2020, a total of 8,155 fires have burned 4,142,656 acres (1,676,473 hectares), more than 4% of the state's roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California's modern history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Wikipedia contributors, "2020 California wildfires,"
  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
  https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2020_California_wildfires&oldid=981822963
  (accessed October 4, 2020).

The fires were so large that they constitute a climate change crisis all on their own due to the large area of forest/conservation land that has been destroyed.

Earlier this year, the Australian Bush Fire season the world lost approx 18,636,079 or 46 million acres and over a billion animals died. 2,779 people lost their homes and 34 people lost their lives.

Here in New Zealand, in barely the beginning of spring we have had fires also. The Lake Ohau fire near Twizel destroyed a small community and burned hundreds of hectares. Thankfully as I write this, no lives have yet been lost, but there are four reported fires in other areas of New Zealand having to be fought by our brave fire brigade. So today please pray for our planet and remember first and foremost, the world’s brave fire-fighters and emergency workers who save so many lives, at risk of losing their own. When others flee in terror, they race to the danger to save and protect. They are deserving of our respect and prayers.

In General prayers are offered on these days for God’s blessing on the fruits of the earth and the labours of all in farming and fisheries, industry and commerce. In the wake of Covid-19 our economy and our workers indeed need our prayers.