This fall has been a trying time for the United States with natural disasters impacting several of its states and territories. Most recently, the Tubbs Fire—a wildfire that is contained but still burning in several counties in Northern California—has claimed the lives of over 40 people, destroyed thousands of structures and laid waste to tens of thousands of acres of land.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower is a photographer, DJ and visual artist who lives near the affected area and who bore witness to the aftermath of the disaster. Drawing from his experience capturing images for news and documentaries, he shares his account of what little is left and experiencing a force of nature that can easily erase the lives we know.
“They take on these Frankenstein—these Mad Max looks where they’re totally burnt out, but the steel is still there and you see all this melted aluminum by the wheel wells.”
“[As a surfer] I spend so much time with wind and water, here I was with fire and earth, really seeing what this very natural, normal and very powerful force looks like when it confronts human hubris.”
“You spend your whole life accumulating all this shit. You wake up one day, and all you’ve got left is a couple of guns, your passport, some banking info and a pair of New Balances.”