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Firenado...a California fire story.

There are times when this work brings me to places that change my perspective on life. My recent trip to Redding, California to see the devastation from the Carr Fire, is now one of those times.

In early October, I took a trip to San Francisco to work with the government software firm OpenGov. I went there to tell the story of how their software played an instrumental part in communicating to the public during and after the Carr Fire in Redding, California. In my time there, I expected to connect with government officials and members of the community that would share their perspective from a distance. Little did I know how much each of these people lives were touched and changed by all that happened to the community during the short window of devastation.

The Carr Fires much like the fires happening in southern California came on quick and once they got rolling "there was nothing anyone could do, but get out of the way". In the midst of the fires they had the perfect conditions to create a fire-tornado (footage that you can view in the first moments of the video here). That 'Firenado' was estimated to have flames 100+ feet in the air. And it moved with an intense speed and ferocity that left houses burnt and lives scattered. By the time the fire burnt itself out, "38,000 people were evacuated over a 24-hour period". For me among the amazing citizens and public officials that I met during my trip. The one that stood out was the local police chief Roger Moore. He grew up in the community. His father was a member of the force. And so as fires moved quickly and citizens were so slow to respond. He and his team placed themselves in harms way going door to door while the fire was at their heals. In the midst of all this, he watched his own house burn to the ground (you'll see a clip from his phone in the video of his house and you can clearly hear the emotion in his voice from seeing it). It was a touching story and one of many in that community at this time

Now post my trip, I have watched from a distance the fires of southern California bring down that same devastation. My heart goes out to all those who have lost possession or more at the grip of these natural disasters. Our thoughts are with you all out west. We're wishing a fast recovery, Barry Walton Director | Owner Endless Media

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