Published Nov 3, 2017 at 6:21 PM | Updated at 10:49 AM PDT on Jun 22, 2018
Santa Rosa cartoonist Brian Fies dealt with death and destruction during the deadly North Bay fires the same way most artists do — by expressing his emotions via pen and paper.
The Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa burned more than 36,000 acres and destroyed more than 5,000 structures — the Fies family home was one of them.
Fies made a series of sketches describing the harrowing moments that led up to that shocking discovery. He calls it "A Fire Story:" a first person report from the front line. "They are not always pretty," he admits
His comics detail his family's hasty evacuation, and how they ended up at his wife's office — Sonoma County Human Services — from where she was able to activate emergency phone trees, organize shelters, and plan the evacuation of foster children's home as the fire engulfed the city from three sides.
When the realization dawned that his house had burned down, Fies went and bought a "bad brush pen" and art supplies from Target: "Sharpie pens, highlighters and crummy paper," because Target was the only open store he could find within 20 miles,
Fies provides an update on his
"My family, pets and I are all fine — a lot better off than many others. There's not a person in the county who hasn't been touched by this disaster. Karen and I know at least a hundred people burned out of their homes, including a lot of cops, firefighters, and government staff who've been working hard for others all week. A Fire Story has drawn a lot of readers, Facebook comments and shares, and other attention. I appreciate that deeply. Thanks. We'll be fine. I'll keep you posted as we rebuild."