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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Trial By Fire

The first two weeks of re-entering the workforce as a Staff Photographer has been, to say the least, a firestorm and just in time. Getting used to a new area for assignments is one thing but for spot news is another. This area is buzzing with breaking news as a regular occurrence and like from my previous entry, getting anywhere in a hurry is an impossibility. Kicking off week two at the Trib broke out with a Red Flag Warning and within minutes it was off. 8-31-09 STATIONFIREA news photographer takes images along Highway 2 near Upper Big Tujunga road during The Station Fire as it burns near Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, Aug. 31.
8-30-09 STATIONFIREA Hot Shot Crew member Patrick Callahan, right, and Collin Shafer, from the Plumas National Forest watches as The Station Fire burns above Altadena in the Angeles National Forrest, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009. 8-30-09 STATIONFIREA bulldozer cuts away brush from The Station Fire as it burns above Altadena in the Angeles National Forest, Aug. 30.

The Morris Fire on Highway 39 above Asuza followed in tandem with the Station Fire along California Highway 2 above La Canada Flintridge. One aspect of wildfire photography that I am used to but not to this degree is the Media/Law Enforcement interface... not cool. With the increased amount of media in the Los Angeles area the tensions between the two groups in a heated situation boils over quickly. The 107 degree temps were not helping this or the fire-fighting effort.
8-31-09 STATIONFIRE
Smoke fills the air above the Mt. Wilson 100 inch observatory as the Station Fire burns up Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forrest, Aug. 31. Mt. Wilson was of special concern because of the millions of dollars in communications equipment and the services it provides to the Los Angeles area along with the historic observatory.


8-29-09 STATIONFIREGlendale Battalion Chiefs watch a fire-fighting air tanker make a drop as The Station Fire approaches neighborhoods in the Altadena area, Saturday, Aug. 29.

I have said before that I have been shooting wildfire for more than 20 years. These fires are proving to have added challenges in terrain and access. I find creating the images for this season thus far to be about working incredibly hard just to get something publishable (in my opinion) and not about the art and ballet of fire and firefighter. I think we are far from over as of writing this. The Station fire still rages at 130,000 acres (that is almost 1/3 of the entire Angeles National Forest) and its not even Santa Ana Wind season yet.
StationFireDay3Plane
8-31-09 STATIONFIRE
Dalton Hot Shot crew member rests as The Station Fire burns above on Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, Monday, Aug. 31, 2009. All Photos San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group/Eric Reed/Staff Photographer)

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About Me

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Mojave Desert, California, United States
http://www.ericreedphoto.com/ Photographer for all of Southern California with over 23 years of experience and a Masters Degree in Photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.