On Dec. 5, I woke up to news my hometown was burning. The Thomas Fire, originating near Ventura, California, wiped out entire neighborhoods overnight. Almost two weeks later, the fire has burned nearly 250,000 acres of land, destroyed more than 1,000 structures, and killed 15 people. It remains only 35 percent contained. Combined with California’s other 2017 wildfires, the destruction is unprecedented: 42 people have died in fires that burned a collective 1 million acres and 10,000 structures.