California’s fire season continues to expand. A few years ago, the fires were most worrisome in the fall. Earlier now, they are also more frequent, more spectacular and longer lasting, such as the Dixie Fire, a mega-fire from mid-July 2021 to the end of October 2021, nearly 390,000 hectares – Gironde The fire, in July, affected nearly 21,000 hectares.
During the month of September 2022, both northern and southern California are burning. While two people were killed in a fire in Hemet, southeast of Los Angeles, another blaze in the Sacramento area of the state capital worries authorities every day. By Sept. 15, the Mosquito Fire had engulfed more than 25,000 acres, making it the largest fire in California this year. The fires began at the end of the Labor Day long weekend, which falls on September 5 this year, when mercury temperatures exceeded 40°C in much of the state, battered by thermal domes.
13,696 houses destroyed
This meteorological phenomenon has become more frequent due to global warming, causing stagnation of warm air masses and increasing the risk of fires in regions suffering from prolonged drought. Early in the summer, still in California, the entire United States trembled as the giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park were threatened by flames for days—and they finally survived.
The phenomenon has become so common that each new fire seems to erase the memory of the previous one. Heaven may be an exception. Balance sheet problem – 89 deaths. Name problem too. “heaven and hell”: The oxymoron has been widely used to describe the horrors this northern California town experienced in 2018. For four hours on November 8, the Camp Fire swept through Heaven. Most of the 89 victims were elderly people who did not have time to leave their homes. The fire will not be fully extinguished until November 25, leaving 61,900 hectares of destroyed land, 13,696 homes destroyed and thousands of people displaced. Indelible fire.
Photographer Maxime Riché visits Paradise for the first time in 2020. “I see a metaphor that can be drawn from a disaster with such a name”, He remembered. An engineer by training, he specialised in biology and health at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009. He then turned to photography to tell the relationship between the human and the living. This is the core of his work on heaven. “I don’t just want to do a subject about the environment, I’m interested in talking about us: what do we do after that? Do we change or start over? »
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