SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 (9:00pm): As our state burns, we watch it from our doorstep. The sky is orange, thick with a dreadful smoke and the sun’s gamma rays burn through the ozone layers, thick from the fires that burn around us. As the August Complex Fire and Rock Complex fire burn into one another, we look at over 491,466 acres that are now ash (Cohen,2020). The Butte/ Tehama/G Fire burns also to the south of Eureka with a 58% containment and a total of 2,782 acres burned and to the east, there is the Willows Fire with fourteen homes destroyed and no sign of containment. Talk of the apocalypse floods social media and the fear of jobs and livelihoods hang by a string.
In the chaos of 2020, our country is anything but contained. A fire burns within all of us and displacement has reached many in our country. A total of 41,051 wildfires and 4.7 million miles burned. The eeriness of destruction is among us. I can’t help but to wonder how Indian’s survived before us and why the practice of controlled burns is not still used today.
Within the day, I saw from my window, children run and scream down the streets in laughter, illuminated by the shades of red in the sky. In this time of chaos, I am reminded of rebirth. For months I have been struggling to find my place in the struggles of the BLM movement, Save the Children, and COVID. As there is no fire to light when the world is lit it is a good time to slow down and reflect, if this was the apocalypse where would you be?
Rather in San Diego, San Francisco, Humboldt county we are all experiencing confusion, displacement, and fear. We are constantly being divided yet the fire that burn our country calls for unity within the community. Loss of jobs, homes, and family resonate with many and the need to rebuild is more relevant than ever.
After the fires, towns will need to regrow. As I have seen in the past there is a phoenix that rebirths. The community rebuilds, together gathering resources as locals reunite. Jobs flood the area, when a community rebuilds and people come where there’s work. With the help of devoted locals, property insurance and community funding a candle is lit and the flame is reincarnated in a different light.
Be safe out there<3
Humboldt County fairgrounds is open for evacuated animals. Call 707-496-8841 to arrange a drop-off.