From the Ashes, a Call to Heed Climate Change

Amid the wreckage of his home, a Colorado fire victim wants to warn future generations.

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Climate Desk

Hani Ahmad expected to return. Instead, the Waldo Canyon Fire reduced his home of two decades to a hole in the ground. The only recognizable remnant was a melted hunk of stove. While the family rounded the corner for the first time in their car, Hani's daughter captured the horror on her cell phone. The family agreed to share the footage with Climate Desk, offering an exclusive look into the heart of the destruction.

Hani is searching for answers in the ashes. Built-up fuel, high winds, and the proximity of houses to the forest all play a role, he says. But eating away at his thoughts is the nagging idea that climate change made it worse.

The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration between The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Slate, and others, dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. Learn more at theclimatedesk.org.

About the Authors

  • James West is the editor and producer of The Climate Desk, a collaboration among The Atlantic, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, Mother Jones, Slate, Wired, and PBS. He is the author of Beijing Blur.
  • Tim McDonnell is a senior fellow on the Climate Desk, where he covers national energy policy.