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"Lake County Fires of 2015” (Before and After)


"Lake County Fires of 2015” (Before and After)

By Katherine Griffin

No other fire in the history of Lake County was more devastating than the “Valley Fire” that erupted on September 12, 2015.

I feel that it is my duty as an artist to not let this day be forgotten. In dedication and memory four people who lost their lives in the “Valley Fire” and the courageous firemen that helped save lives in all three fires I am making a documentary DVD of “Lake County Fires of 2015” (Before and After). The saga begins with the fire(s) destroying vegetation, property, houses, and cars.

This documentation is being told through visual photography and video. I am choreographing these dramatic images with my original piano music and my unique orchestrations of classical domain music. I am performing and recording the music myself. The insert of the case of the DVD will include the narrative information of fire locations and dates.

I plan to donate my fire DVD to museums and schools. I will send a “Submission Release” to PBS. Anticipated audiences would include future generations. I will submit copies to government agencies to show how government funding and grants has helped with the regrowth of communities. I will also give copies to fire departments.

I have kept the destructive photos to a minimum and have now moved on to the final phase of my documentary: the regrowth. I am mainly doing photography and video of the regrowth of nature.

My theme in the regrowth photography is finding the beauty among the tragedy. The contrasting colors of the vibrant green grass against the burnt out trees and mountainsides...the rising of the moon and setting of the sun with the sillouette of blackened trees.

I have taken my lifetime of music and nature photography to create “alternative television” for Alzheimer’s patients. Both of my parents lost the battle with Alzheimer’s and when they no longer had the ability to understand and comprehend words I was able to bring them joy with my music and take them on rides in the country. This was the true beginning of my “Music For The Mind and Heart” CD and DVDs. Samples of my work are on my website:

And I have created a new website "Tragic Beauty" Lake County Fires of  2015 to tell the tale of Lake County before, during and after the fires as we creconstruct lives, land and structures. There is beauty and strength amid the destruction.