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The fire as viewed from the town stands in sharp contrast from the raging hellscape of the imagination’s rendition of a forest fire. While the flames rage and spit as fire crews frantically work to contain towers of fire on the mountain, the people below are afforded a different view. A sense of dread and impending loss lays heavy on the land like the blanket of smoke that chokes the pines.

The slow and steady crawl of the fire observed in macro seems all too malignant and moves with a deliberate malice, slowly chewing the trees before moving to the next in a sort of smug assertion of our powerlessness, like one who eats but is not hungry. At night, the glowing plumes silhouette against the pines like the teeth of a great demon. Its foul breath fills our lungs and we choke on the destruction. The creatures flee and cry in the blind fear of the flames, the great cleanser and annihilator. It soweth but it also reapeth and our payment is overdue.

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COOPER SMITH

Flagstaff

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