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‘Not a Hawaiian sunset:’ Viral wedding photo captures joy, sorrow amid Kincade Fire in California

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. — A dramatic wedding photo of a Chicago couple illuminated by the orange glow of the devastating Kincade Fire was captured in Sonoma County, and the picture went viral.

Photographer Karna Roa captured the joy and sorrow of the Sonoma County wedding on Saturday, Oct. 26 as the blaze raged in the background.

“It’s not a Hawaiian sunset,” said Roa, owner of KMR Photography.

The photo shows a wine country sunset during fire season. The backdrop at Chateau St. Jean served as an eerie reminder of imminent danger as the fire burned just miles away.

“I immediately thought of the American Gothic painting from the 1930s and how that couple at that time represented the normal America,” said Roa.

Roa captured what may be the new normal in Sonoma County in a photo that has now gone viral. The Kincade Fire forced the bride and groom to change the location of their rehearsal dinner. Vendors and guests were forced to evacuate hours before the wedding and the newlyweds themselves evacuated early Sunday morning.

Roa said this was the fourth wedding in three years that she’s shot where the celebration was threatened by wildfires.

“As long as it can bring more attention to the wildfires and the problems that Sonoma and Napa County and Northern California are facing, then I would love more people to see it,” said Roa.

The couple was spending their “mini” moon in San Francisco.

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