According to Graphics Editor Les Dunseith: “The fires began on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 21, and for the next five days, Southern California burned. From the mountains above Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, wildfires raged through suburban subdivisions, mountain resorts, rural enclaves and rarefied beach communities. Hundreds of thousands of Californians fled their homes through a miasma of smoke and ash. In the end, eight people died and more than 1,000 homes were destroyed.”
To cover this disaster, the Los Angeles Times produced more than three dozen informational graphics related to the fires and the weather conditions that contributed to them.
For the contest judge, “These graphics offered much to admire: the breadth of their subject matter, which ranged from drought and water-source statistics through projections for plant regrowth; the depth of reporting, much of it obviously done on deadline, that underlay them; the consistent excellence of their execution; the combination of print and online delivery; the imaginative use of Google maps to show the fires’ locations. Readers benefited from all those qualities, but I suspect their admiration focused on just one: In a time of danger and confusion, these graphics delivered essential information.”