'It's Really Hard Not to Think of the 23 Years That Were Lost in That House'

A look at the personal devastation wrought by the Colorado fires

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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.

3043.jpgThis piece was produced by James West with assistance from Tim McDonnell, both of The Climate Desk.

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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.

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