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“My son and I spotted smoke, and given California’s extreme drought I knew it was not good. We jumped in the car but had only gone a mile when burning ash rained down like falling snow. The rangers and police were ordering a mandatory evacuation and we had to go home to prepare. Then we returned to the Falls area of Bass Lake and I resumed shooting. The picture combines a beautiful forest reflected in the calm waters, and then slams home the fact that it is being consumed by the fire. It conveys the sense of awe, horror and feeling of loss I felt while standing there watching the forest burn.”

Photograph by Darvin Atkeson/AP