PEJ News Coverage Index: October 21 - 26, 2007: 'California Burning' is the Second-biggest Story of 2007

  • November 01, 2007

Of all the coverage of last week's California wildfires, one of the more memorable moments occurred when San Diego TV reporter Larry Himmel—wearing goggles and grasping a microphone—reported on the destruction of his own home.

Pointing to a fiery pile of rubble, Himmel told viewers, “This was what is left of my home,” of a quarter century. “This was our garage; the living room was over there, there was a porch right there, the bedrooms…”

“This was a living hell,” he added. “This is what I came home to today.”

By week's end, the California wildfires took a heavy toll. Estimates include seven dead, more than 2,700 structures destroyed, up to 500,000 acres burned, and hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate.

Read the full article 'California Burning' is the Second-biggest Story of 2007 at the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.