Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

Editor's Note: Freelance photographer Will Bucquoy joined Sonoma County supervisors James Gore and Lynda Hopkins in a Cal Fire helicopter ride across Sonoma County to survey the damage from local wildfires. Here is his account from the flight.

The first minutes after departing from the Sonoma County Airport by helicopter were filled with familiar views of the lush vineyards and deep green forested areas of Sonoma County. But there was nothing that prepared me for the sight of the stark devastation left in the aftermath of the Tubbs and Nuns fires as we reached the crest of the hills and mountains surrounding Santa Rosa, Calistoga, Larkfield and other area’s affected by the firestorms.

Homes stood seemingly untouched, surrounded by others that had been leveled. Familiar schools, churches, restaurants, parks and neighborhoods were destroyed, becoming unrecognizable. Memories and precious memorabilia were lost in what we now know was the most destructive wildfire in California’s history.

While it will no doubt require a long time to rebuild and heal from the damage and destruction of these devastating wildfires, it was heartening to see most of Sonoma County had been left whole and intact. This offers insight that an aerial view from a Cal Fire helicopter can’t provide — that we can come back from this. Through the smoke and from the ashes is a community of people that have come together in the most unprecedented way to help one another, determined to become better and stronger than ever before.

Click through the gallery above for an aerial view of Sonoma County after the wildfires.

Press Democrat Poll

What type of warning did you receive about last October’s fires? (Multiple responses allowed)

Official alert on my landline: 5 percent

Official alert on my cellphone: 17 percent

Neighbor warned me: 14 percent

Family member or friend warned me: 28 percent

Police or fire came to my home to warn me: 5 percent

None: 43 percent

Don’t know: 1 percent

In the future, how would you like to be notified about a fire or other impending disaster?

Phone call: 31 percent

Text message: 30 percent

Email: 1 percent

Air raid siren: 28 percent

Other (specify): 7 percent

Don’t know: 3 percent

Do you think Sonoma County is more prepared today to warn you about fires or disasters than it was last year?

Yes: 54 percent

No: 31 percent

Don’t know: 15 percent

SOURCE: The Press Democrat Poll/David Binder Research