Environment | 2017 Fire Devastation Leaves its Mark: A Photographic Essay

By Jesaja Class –

2017 is a year that will not be forgotten for many people who have lost everything—their houses, businesses, and livelihoods. It is a year that marks a deep scar into what we all know as Beautiful British Columbia. Yet a natural process of renewal has already begun. Deep green and lush grass is now growing through the dark ashes, providing nutrients for a new generation of life soon to return. But the dark, sorrowful memories and scars will be visible and remembered for a long time to come.

This is a small glimpse into what’s left after the largest wildfires in the history of BC swept across the land, leaving in its wake a vast wasteland of fallen trees, ashes, and pure destruction. These images I captured throughout the Hanceville fire zones don’t even do justice to standing alone, surrounded by a scorched black forest and landscape as far as the eye can see.

The view as seen from the Hanceville viewpoint, overlooking orange trees scorched by the intense heat and a once-green mountainside across the Chilcotin River, now bare and dark.

The view as seen from the Hanceville viewpoint, overlooking orange trees scorched by the intense heat and a once-green mountainside across the Chilcotin River, now bare and dark.

 

A lone deer alongside the Taseko Lake Rd., confused, starved, and chased from its homeland by an inferno of fire and smoke. So many animals have lost their homelands, and are starved with nothing but ash-covered vegetation to eat.

A lone deer alongside the Taseko Lake Rd., confused, starved, and chased from its homeland by an inferno of fire and smoke. So many animals have lost their homelands, and are starved with nothing but ash-covered vegetation to eat.

 

A truly eerie and haunting image of a dark skeleton-like forest. So quiet, you could hear a pin drop, almost as if frozen in time.

A truly eerie and haunting image of a dark skeleton-like forest. So quiet, you could hear a pin drop, almost as if frozen in time.

 

A feller buncher working alongside the Chilcotin Bella Coola Highway, starting a long and tedious process cleaning up and salvaging what’s left behind.

A feller buncher working alongside the Chilcotin Bella Coola Highway, starting a long and tedious process cleaning up and salvaging what’s left behind.

 

The aftermath as seen from above, closely resembling a war scene from some abandoned battlefield. Captured in the Hanceville Fire Area with a camera drone.

The aftermath as seen from above, closely resembling a war scene from some abandoned battlefield. Captured in the Hanceville Fire Area with a camera drone.

Jesaja Class is a young and passionate, self- taught photographer from Nemaiah Valley, BC. He doesn’t consider himself an expert or a pro but rather a witness to the wonders and beauty of the world we live in, presented to us each and every day, in every moment, and every life. For more info on his work see http://jesajaclass.wixsite.com/photography

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