Photo by Darin McKinney

Photo by Darin McKinney

The Butte Fire has destroyed nearly 65,000 acres (101 sq. miles) in just 2 days. Within that blaze is my home. I have no idea whether it was spared or not, but the likelihood that it escaped the flames is small indeed.

Photo by Darin McKinney

Photo by Darin McKinney

What makes it so terrible is it’s not just my house—that I could bear, though it would be devastating indeed—nor even that it’s everyone else’s houses, too. It’s that it’s my school, the park, the library I hung out at—in short, my whole community, my life.

Photo by R.M. ArceJaeger

Photo by R.M. ArceJaeger

To put the size of the fire in perspective, there was a big fire called the Darby Fire in the area in 2001 (it actually occurred the same week as 9/11. Ironic that this fire did, too). That fire burned 14,200 acres in 25 days. This fire burned 14,700 acres in under 24 hours and is now 5 times that size in just 2 days.

Photo by Darin McKinney

Photo by Darin McKinney

To put it in even better perspective, the fire has burned an area 4 times greater than San Francisco…in just 2 days!

Photo by LA Times

Photo by LA Times

When will it end? Who knows. The bigger question is, what will be left when it does?