As America’s west coast continues to burn, this Ron Howard-directed documentary tells of the aftermath of the 2018 wildfires in Paradise, California. At the time it was the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. Paradise first entered the international consciousness via a Trumpian gaffe that seemed to encapsulate the administration’s casual indifference to climate change; the president referred to the town as “Pleasure” while touring the devastation. That clip is featured again here, this time utterly drained of even the bitterest humour by the harrowing images that precede it.
Footage garnered from emergency response vehicle dashcams and survivors’ mobiles shows the now-familiar ash clouds, orange skies and deadlocked queues of fleeing traffic – no less shocking for that familiarity. In one remarkable shot, four horses gallop away from the inferno,