The always prescient Joan Didion described the Santa Ana winds—currently the driving force behind the devastating California wildfires—and their relationship to Los Angeles this way:
Beginning Monday night, dry conditions combined with the most intense Santa Ana wind event of the year started a massive series of wildfires just north of Los Angeles in what has already been California’s most destructive wildfire year.
Excuse Californians if they’re ready to call it a year. Massive, house-destroying, car-melting wildfires have ripped across the state throughout the spring, summer, and fall. And the nightmare isn’t over yet.
After finally breaking free of an epic drought, you’d think California would be feeling pretty good about itself. But 2017 is the year we can’t have nice things.
We’re still a few months from finally closing the books on a year wracked by natural disasters, but it seems safe to say 2017 will go down as the year of hellfire on Earth.