My iconic Anthropocene forest fire nightmare image had been those videos of people seeing fire all around the road as they drove frantically through smoke and shooting embers to escape. Like this one from Fort McMurray. One from Russia in which the truck in front was itself on fire stuck in mind.

(screengrab from linked video above)

I'm sensitive to entrapment, surroundedness, being engulfed by deadly threat. Similar images from California and Russian fire escapees resonate.

The Portugal forest fires jumped to the unimagniable - actually being swallowed and burned alive in your car, suffocating and frying alive.

The new images are all sanitized, all at-a-distance, all aftermath. In a sense death's triumph turns the experience inside-out. The observer is excluded, as if we were never trapped. This latest view superficially seems safer, but actually is more deeply threatening.

image source images 4,12, and 29

<sigh> It's like the difference between seeing myself reflected in  mirror with fire behind me, or looking into the mirror to see my charred and smoldering corpse.

This time our foreshadow is death, not near-death escape.

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Somehow this discussion got posted twice. The other copy, at the link, has some real replies; let's keep all the conversation in one place. Thanks!

Ruth plans to delete this copy when she gets back online.

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