Butte fire: Red Sun #2

Red Sun #2 Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches
Red Sun #2
Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches

Thankfully I am not near enough to the flames of the Butte fire to see the actual flames. I hope I never am.

But I am able to see the sun, which has been pretty darn creepy. This afternoon it was rimmed in red and glowing yellow-orange.

The news is that while the fire is still chewing through forest, grassland, and brush like a starved one-eyed ogre, they’ve contained it—30% (whatever that means). Dear reader, if you’re a praying person, pray for rain for California. Do a rain dance, make a wish, direct your energy. We need some water!

And if you can, please donate to the Red Cross to help the victims of this and other horrible fires. I won’t give you a link; just search for the Red Cross so that you’re sure you’re giving to the right organization.

The world on fire

Red Sun Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches
Red Sun
Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches

The fire started on Wednesday, but the severity of it didn’t hit me until Friday afternoon when the sun turned red and the sky began raining ash.

The Butte fire is ravaging Calaveras county; we’ve been on advisory evacuation orders this whole weekend as the flames galloped towards us. Thanks to the nearly 5,000 firefighters, police officers, and other responders (and we are so unbelievably grateful to these brave people who risk their lives to save ours) the march of the fire is slowing. But it’s still moving, and we are in its path.

Fire Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches
Watercolor on #300 hot press Arches

Today I had to paint about this fire.  I can’t see the fire from where I live, but I’ve seen so many photos, so many videos, and my nightmares are inscribed across my mind. I needed to unpack my fears of losing my own home if the firefighters can’t hold the line. I needed to process my sadness for my friends who have lost their homes. And I wanted to try to capture the energy and savagery of this beast that is consuming California.

And I want to be of some use. I can’t help directly. I can’t go bulldoze firebreaks and cut brush, but I can bring this to your attention, dear readers. If you are able, please donate to the Red Cross to help the fire victims across the West. We are burning, burning. So many have lost their homes, their possessions, their businesses and livelihoods. Help if you can.