The Long Fire


5 X 5 card with envelope. Blank inside.

Item No. LNG925

Story on the back of the card:

It was hot, and late in the season when I went out on patrol with my mounted unit partner and our two horses on the Trabuco Ranger District in southern California’s Cleveland National Forest.

Even though the forest we patrolled is an urban one—surrounded by communities on all sides—only a small number of people ever encounter it, and that day was no exception. It seemed we had the place to ourselves. Not long after entering the wilderness, I saw what fire had done. In the black and ash, I saw a man who could not have been there, who didn’t have the time and anyway, was too young to make these self-searching inquiries...

The aftermath of fire is a lonely place. It creates a void that is hard to imagine filled again one day with anything as wonderful as what has been lost. Some disasters just will not let you walk out on them even if their moment is decades old. They remain catastrophes that keep demanding explanations, at the very least, as some small form of consolation.