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California Woodfires: what’s been and what’s coming…

















40% of the West is experiencing “extreme” to “exceptional” drought, which are the most severe categories. The warm season is arriving and climate change is intensifying the warm weather patterns. Scientist are already alarming authorities and population to understand the importance of preparing everything for an upcoming fire season that could be destructive.


This summer it will be a year since the West coast experienced one of the strongest and most intense fires in its history.


In moments like these sometimes words fail and sometimes they help us capture what the data doesn´t show. Below is a poem written by Forrest Gander in the New Yorker capturing the destruction these fires leave in their wake.


Shadows of shadows without canopy, phalanxes of carbonized trunks and snags, their inner momentum shorted out. They surround us in early morning like plutonic pillars, like mute clairvoyants leading a Sursum Corda, like the excrescence of some long slaughter. All that moves is mist lifting, too indistinct to be called ghostly, from scorched filamental layers of rain-moistened earth. What remains of the forest takes place in the exclamatory mode. Cindered utterances in a tongue from which everything trivial has been volatilized, everything trivial to fire. In a notch, between near hills stubbled with black paroxysm, we spot a familiar sun, liquid glass globed at the blowpipe’s tip. If this landscape is dreaming, it must dream itself awake.
Published in the print edition of the April 12, 2021, issue.



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