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Influencer poses in front of wildfires
Via Instagram @coletteleclair_

An influencer got called out for using the US wildfires as a photo opp


Since early August, wildfires have devastated California, Oregon, and Washington, burning millions of acres of land, destroying thousands of homes, and killing over 30 people. So, obviously, these locations are now the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram photo opp. According to one influencer, anyway.

Colette LeClair, a blogger based in California, has shared two images on her Instagram which see her posing on a beach with San Francisco’s wildfire smoke all around her. According to PAPER, in the original caption, LeClair told her followers it was her last day in the city before moving to LA, before attempting to sell them the dress she’s wearing in the photo.

The post, with the initial caption, was shared to Twitter, where it went viral. LeClair has since edited the caption, which now reads: “My last day here! Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years – TRIPOD PHOTOS.”

Instead of trying to sell the dress, LeClair said she’s now “gathering a lot of clothes to donate”, adding that the item she’s wearing won’t “make it with me to LA, but there might be someone here who will adore it”.

She concluded: “To clarify – I drove to the beach on my last night in town and took photos, I love taking photos. I hve taken photos for the last three years in this city. I love this city. There have been fires going on for weeks in California. It is devastating. Prayers for people dealing with the fires. SENDING YOU ALL LOVE.”

LeClair isn’t the first influencer to use tragedy or urgent activism for Instagram likes. In June, as the Black Lives Matter movement took off, white Instagram influencers began posing at protests for clout, while others started doing blackface to ‘show solidarity’ with BLM.

Last year, Dazed unpacked the rise of the tragedy selfie, which saw influencers pose at sites of disaster, including Chernobyl and Grenfell Tower.