After the wildﬁres, raising a toast in Sonoma, Calif.
Chris Morano settled into the pillow-strewn bench in the lobby of the Sandman, surprisingly relaxed after all he has been through. Behind him, singed shrubs appeared through the hotel window. Near the swimming pool, a concrete wall bore the black eye of a fireball. On the coffee table, by his knees, sat the most recent issue of Sonoma Magazine, which was dedicated to the October wildfires in Northern California. The cover featured a first responder standing on a mountain engulfed in flames. The headline read, "The Fight of Our Lives. What Happened and What's Next."
"How we escaped the devastation is beyond me," said Chris, the hotel's front office manager and chief concierge. "Mr. Sandman was watching over us."