Fire Fighting in Southern California

by Russ Allison Loar 

Claremont, California

Southern California, where I grew up, was once agrarian, relatively peaceful, and filled with orange groves. Now it is surrounded by freeways and increasingly threatened by fires. Every year the fire season is longer and more intense than ever before. I live in Claremont, California, where we’ve been immersed in what looks like a heavy fog but which in fact is thick smoke coming from the north and the east of us. We live close to the foothills but thankfully have been spared from the fires–so far.

Russ Allison Loar is a former newspaper journalist who has written more than a thousand news and feature stories for the Los Angeles Times. He currently writes poetry and prose published in literary journals. His photography appears on websites worldwide, including recent publication by the National Resources Defense Council, Georgetown University Medical Center, Radio Prague International, Ms. Magazine, Discover magazine, ABC News, World News Network, NPR and PBS.