Witness California's record blazes through the eyes of frontline firefighters

Climate change, misguided fire suppression, population boom—the current wildfire crisis has been building for decades, and crews are now fighting in unprecedented conditions.

Strong winds fueled the the Creek Fire's explosive growth after it started on September 4. By September 15 it had burned more than 212,000 acres, was just 16 percent contained, and was advancing deeper into the Sierra Nevada Mountains northeast of Fresno.
Photograph by Stuart Palley, National Geographic

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