The Los Angeles area, September 2020: Mornings with the house full of smoke sticking in the eyes and burning in the throat. Days with a red sun bathing the garden in a theatrical orange light while the ashes fall from the sky like gray snow. Evenings where the smoke clears enough that we can see the flames licking up the hills above the house.
After three days of this, we decided to leave: Pasadena, where we live, is anyway on the evacuation list for the Bobcat fire that is raging these days. We are betting that an eight-lane motorway will be enough to keep the house safe and set course for the interior, towards the desert where the sky is blue. At the motel I try to digest the situation. And not least understand the debate about causes and guilt, while I read about Trump who predictably blames poor forest management in California, while Governor Gavin Newsom and presidential candidate Joe Biden insist that this is primarily the cause of climate change.
I grab the book Fire in Paradise – An American Tragedy, written by journalists Alistair Gee and Dani Anguiano. . .