I stand shirtless and barefoot on the dry ground. The first leaves of fall lie where they have dropped from the massive Sycamore that spreads its four trunks high into the sky above me. Dead twigs, living plants drooping for water, fifty thousand acres of flames to the northeast. Everything desperate for water.
In the twenty minutes before I left my house and went outside, the voices of five fire vehicles could be heard wailing and moaning their way into the distance down the road I live on and the one behind. Another day this summer I counted seven in an afternoon. We watch the news and look at the trees around us wondering how dry they are. Will the resin stored in the California Bays explode in flames if a spark blows over from where forests are burning? The Coastal Live Oaks around here all keep their leaves in the heat, but would they burn anyway?