Rarely is photography able to capture problems of our world that truly affect us all. We have all seen the aftermaths of natural disasters like the photos of Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico. Yet, this enormous forest fire in the middle of a Juana Díaz field in Puerto Rico is truly a warning sign of the imminent effects of climate change. Although this area of Puerto Rico is prone to summer forest fires, we have seen a noticeable uptick in the amount and intensity of forest fires due to the intense heat wave, fueled by the debris left by Hurricane Maria and coupled with the lack of funding for local fire departments.
This forest fire was photographed from afar while winds where blowing the smoke northward into the city. The field had no firefighters or fire-prevention procedures due, in part, to the lack of funding of local fire departments. This allows fires to rage on for hours or days until they reach a fire break (road, river, etc).