Aaron Carnes


Up in Smoke: How California's Weed Farmers Are Moving On From 2017's Wildfires

We stare at what was once a fully functioning utility vehicle, now a rusty hunk of junkyard scrap. Russell Daniels and his girlfriend Katie Cuddy, who own the vehicle and rent the property it’s resting on, seem more shocked than upset. Daniels points at the tires, which are now just puddles of liquid metal and coiled wires. “There’s just no trace of the tires,” he says indignantly. “That’s how hot it got.” This is the first time Daniels and Cuddy have been here since the Tubbs Fire scorched the property a month earlier. Throughout last October, the fire destroyed some 5,500 structures in Sonoma County as the country watched on, earning the flames the dubious honor of one of California’s most destructive wildfire in history. Its estimated cost of damage: more than $7 billion.

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