Beauty in the Ashes

I will never forget day that the Carr Fire started, nor the days and weeks to follow.

It was a Monday, I had shot a wedding the day before in Dallas, and my son and I were about to hop on a plane and fly back to California, as we boarded the plane I got a text from Tony, my husbsnd, who is a hotshot, "Headed to a fire in whiskey town." This wasn't totally out of the norm, after all it was nearing the end of July. I remember the relief, that he wouldn't be home that night, so I didn't have to drive another 6 hours once I got back to CA to make it home tsee him, little did I know what the next several days would hold

I remember the overwhelming fear as the fire got closer and closer. Seeing the plumes, constantly checking the news, and the fire's progress. I remember one night my husband telling me their plan, wondering if my photo locations I had JUST scouted would burn up. He assured me they would be fine....they were not fine. I remember waking up the next morning, to a text from him "Hey babe, I'm sorry to tell you this, but Oak Bottom is gone."

At this point they had started to evacuate the town slowly, I remember Tony telling me to mayyyybbe just head to his parents house and grab some things just in case. This day was SO tense, but eventually around noon I remember thinking it looked like the fire wasn't as close, maybe they were getting a hold on it. My sister in law and I went shopping for their new house, all in all it was a pretty normal day. And then all of the sudden it wasn't. We got back to our in laws house, where they were watching the news and all the sudden I saw mandatory evacuations for Mary Lake, I remember in that instant, telling my in laws, I needed to go home right now and grab things. We never officially had to evacuate but we did only live only about a mile from Mary Lake. Most of the evening is a blur from that point, but I'll never forget the bumper to bumper traffic on I5, not being with either my husband or my baby, and the glowing sky getting brighter and more apocalyptic as we sat there not moving. It was one of the most surreal/terrifying nights of my life.

Thankfully the smoke has passed, but there is still so much devastation that surrounds our city. But there has already been so much regrowth and it has been amazing to watch the community come together to help one another and lift one another up.

Because the fire was such a significant event in my life, and everyone else in Redding, I’ve really felt the need to document it somehow. So about a month ago, a few local vendors and I did a collab, and I am so excited to finally share these with the world, these photos were taken right in the heart of the Carr Fire burn scar. These pictures don’t even begin to show the damage and devestation, but my hope would be that they represent hope for those who were effected by the Carr Fire, regrowth, and comfort knowing there is and will be beauty in the ashes from this horrible fire.

Lastly i’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who made this shoot possible!

Model: Brooke Howard

Makeup: Brooke Howard

Hair: Savannah Howard

Wardrobe: Carousel

Florist: Marshall’s Florist

Phyograoher: Ashley Moore Photography

As a disclaimer, please do not go out to Whiskeytown in blocked or burnt areas without permission from the rangers 🧡

All images are copyright to Ashley Moore Photography and should not be used without permission.