Black Mirror is probably one of the most addicting shows to watch, not for its creativity but for its real-life scenarios in which humans can live.
Unfortunately, though, nowadays, our reality seems as though we are living during a time of an episode of Black Mirror. Lately, cities have been up in flames, lives have been lost, and homes have been destroyed. For this reason, we will cover photographers who have been at the forefront of it all, documenting the wildfires.
Dixie Fire (Photographer Noah Berger)
The name, Dixie Fire, comes from the road where it started. Nevertheless, the Dixie Fire started on July 13, 2021, and is currently still active. Struggling to contain the wildfire, “the fire began in the Feather River Canyon near Cresta Dam . . . and had burned 747,092 acres by August 25.”
Meanwhile, the fire has burned primarily north through the Lake Almanor area into Lassen Volcanic National Park and east through Indian Valley towards the Diamond Mountains. The fire has damaged or destroyed several small towns, including Greenville on August 4 and Canyondam on August 5.
Freelance photographer Noah Berger, who works for various media outlets, including Los Angeles Times, documented it. Since July, his photographs have been shared across social media platforms. Finally, you can find him living on Alameda, an island in the San Francisco Bay, with his wife, son, and Labrador puppy.
Amazon Rainforest (Photographer Sebastian Liste)
Last year, in 2019, the Amazon Rainforest experienced the most fires during its year’s tropical dry season. Despite playing a significant role in global warming, during that time period, “INPE reported more than 80,000 fires across all of Brazil, a 77% year-to-year increase for the same tracking period, with more than 40,000 in Brazil’s Legal Amazon (Amazônia Legal or BLA), which contains 60% of the Amazon.”
As a result, the increased rate of fires in Brazil has made international leaders concerned. Fresh President Emmaual Macron “and environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) attributed these to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro‘s pro-business policies that had weakened environmental protections and have encouraged deforestation of the Amazon after he took office in January 2019.
Since 2019, “it is estimated that over 906 thousand hectares of forest within the Amazon biome have been lost to fires in 2019.” One of the photographers who documented the aftermath is Sebastian Liste. Living between Brazil and Paris, Liste “in long-term, in-depth projects where he creates frameworks to make societies reflect about the social consequences of today’s decision-makers.”
3. Greece Wildfire (Photographer Thanassis Stavrakis)
Meanwhile, experiencing the worst heatwave since 1987, Greece has been attempting to control the wildfires. Since early August, the fire has killed two people and injured 20 people. More importantly “authorities have evacuated several villages and towns.”
The largest wildfires, in particular, are in “Attica, Olympia, Messenia, and the most destructive in northern Euboea.” With that being said, “25,000 hectares of forest and arable land has been burnt so far, with over 50,000 hectares burnt in northern Euboea alone.”
Photographer Thanassi Starvakis has taken the opportunity to document the scene. Born in Stockholm in 1973, Starvakis graduated from the School of Study and Practice in Athens. And he has been working as a photojournalist since 1992.
Our reality is not an episode of Black Mirror. However, the emotions are real: terrified and utterly gut-wrenching. My condolences go out to the families who have lost their homes or a loved one.
We need to be serious about climate change. “When it comes to climate, there’s a lot that we know. The second warmest year on record was 2019, and it closed out the hottest recorded decade. Ocean temperatures are rising, too, hitting a high in 2019 as well, and increasing faster than previously estimated.” With that information alone, we need to cut back fossil emissions. As a society, we can cut back power plants, replace cars that run on gasoline, and, as a start, deforestation.