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Vivid murals breathe life into California’s fire-scorched ruins

The California blazes left 14,000 buildings devastated and took the lives of at least 85 people

Former graffiti artist Shane Grammer painted several murals on what was left of scorched buildings and cars in the town of Paradise, which had been stricken by the deadliest wildfires in California’s history. Grammer told the Washington Post that he came up with the idea when he saw pictures of the burnt ruins of his friend Shane Edwards’s house. Later, he asked Edwards "if he could paint something on the hearth and chimney to help people see beyond the charred building, to see that people like him cared — that Paradise could be a place of beauty again". Edwards posted the pictures of the artist's first work on Facebook to share it with people who had lost their homes in the blaze, and it turned out that Paradise residents viewed it exactly as the artist had intended. The northern California wildfires reduced 14,000 buildings to ashes and killed at least 85 people. Three months after the so-called Camp fire, the community is just beginning the process of rebuilding.