/ 2017 / Press / Nature/Environmental

A State Ablaze

  • Prize
    Gold in Book (Series Only)/Nature, Silver in Press/Nature/Environmental
  • Photographer
    Marcus Yam, United States
  • Studio
    Los Angeles Times

California’s drought-parched landscape withered under record
temperatures as nearly 7000 wildfires burned in the state this past
fire season, burning nearly half-a-million acres of land.
Thousands of homes were destroyed and countless families were
forced to rebuild. The majority of California’s 10 largest wildfires
in recorded history have occurred since the year 2008. In state
with 38 million residents, firefighters are tackling faster-moving
and more destructive wildfires, which can occur any month of the
year, frustrating firefighters, terrifying residents, and destroying
vast swaths of bone-dry forest.
“Right now, we’re at that point where I’m not surprised anymore.
Before, maybe we’d have a fire that’d do this once or twice a year,
and now everything in the beginning of the fire season is burning
explosively. It’s not going to get any better this year. … It’s like
we’re at war.” - Cal Fire Capt. Lucas Spelman

Awards 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting
2016 NPPA BOP Photojournalist Of The Year Runner Up
2016 POYI Newspaper Picture Story 2nd Place
2015 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting
2015 POYI Newspaper Picture Story 2nd & 3rd Place
2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Prize, Special Citation
2012 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, Silver Baton
2011 Emmy Awards, Documentary & News Coverage
2011 World Press Photo Multimedia, First Place