Tessa Love at The Believer:
In California, wildfire has always been a fact of existence. Every year, from June through September, some sky somewhere in the state fills with smoke. But since 2017, when the Tubbs Fire tore through Santa Rosa, fires have shifted from the periphery of collective attention into the burning spotlight. Unlike those in years before, the Tubbs Fire did not confine itself to wildland but cut its path through a city. And unlike fires in years before, it came so fast that people didn’t have time to get out. Some took shelter in swimming pools while the flames washed over them. Twenty-two people died. At the time, it was the most destructive wildfire in California history.
In the background was the increasingly visible presence of climate change. Heat records were set and then broken across the state; drought became the norm; winters seemed to skip years.