Associated Press honors Press Democrat photographer Kent Porter, unforgettable Santa Rosa fire photo

In this Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, Gordon Easter and fiancee Gail Hale embrace as they return to their home on Hopper Lane in Coffey Park in Santa Rosa. Northern California residents who fled a wildfire in the dead of night with only minutes to spare returned to their neighborhoods for the first time in nearly two weeks to see if anything was standing. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP, File)


A photo by Press Democrat photographer Kent Porter has been honored by the Associated Press as its "Photo of the Month" for October.

The image, taken Oct. 20, captures a touching moment between Tubbs fire victims Gordon Easter and fiancee Gail Hale as they embrace at the site where their home stood on Hopper Lane in Santa Rosa. It was the first time the two had seen their property since escaping the flames that erupted the night of Oct. 8.

Easter plans to rebuild, as noted in a Press Democrat story on Oct. 28. "Hopefully before 24 months is up we’ll be able to put a key in a door and walk back in," he said.

For Kent Porter's first-hand account of covering the fires that devastated parts of Sonoma and Napa counties (including more unforgettable photos), go here.

The Tubbs fire killed 22 people in Sonoma County and destroyed 5,643 structures, most of them homes.