When the CZU Lightning Complex fires forced families to evacuate from the South Coast over the last few weeks, it altered some Coastsiders’ perspective of the likelihood of wildfire here.
That reality hit home for Luke Salinero, a 2020 Half Moon Bay High School graduate. In August, his cousin evacuated from her La Honda residence and lived with Salinero and his family in El Granada for a few weeks.
The experience brought the reality of fires to his doorstep. Salinero, 18, believes other Coastsiders may have experiences about the fires they’d be willing to share, and he is currently creating a new online literary magazine called FYR, or For Your Reflection, with the goal of assembling a collage of experience about wildfires and their consequences.
Salinero envisions FYR, pronounced “fire,” as an engaging community outlet that will publish writing and illustrations submitted by all people of all ages in response to the recent wildfires. In launching FYR, Salinero collaborated with neighbors GraceAnn and Sheridan Stewart, who published Vyris, a literary magazine focused on stories relating to the coronavirus pandemic in June.
“We thought we should make one about fires so people can share their stories and connect with others, just so they don’t feel alone in this process,” Salinero said.
The team has already received essays, poems and photos. Some suggested prompts involve sharing firsthand accounts of the evacuations from the CZU Lighting Complex fires, which burned nearly 90,000 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties in August and September. Others involved general fire knowledge or firsthand first-responder experience.
Submissions must be 500 words or fewer, and two different writing submissions, meaning one poetry and one story, are allowed per person.
To submit a piece, email 2020FYR@gmail.com and include your full name, age, phone number, city and state.
This version corrects the spelling of Luke Salinero's name.