Water-dropping helicopters and worried residents: yet another SoCal fire

North County San Diego Fires, driving selfie

driving selfie, North Co. San Diego fires, May 2014

I shoot so many wildfires that they all tend to blur together. This one was above Glendora last January. I fed three times that day, which is impressive because up in those hills, cell phone coverage can be spotty.

The challenge is always the same: Explain how weather, topography, or the people who live there make a particular natural disaster unique. Get close to the action but not uncomfortably close, which is even harder with the short zoom on my little camera. Make the visual details — firefighters’ faces or creeping flames or people’s precious possessions ravaged by heat — tell the story.

NOTE: I didn’t write or edit this package (obviously, because the San Gabriel Valley requires a definite article, the copy makes it sound like this bedroom community is in the boondocks, and the Jesus statue at the retreat center needed some set-up in the script). They didn’t even use the best stuff! Isn’t that the videographer’s lament?

More tough photos of me covering wildfires solo after the jump.

I can't even remember which fire this was...

I can’t remember which fire this was or who took this photo…


Photo by a friendly LA Co. Fire Capt.

Photo by a friendly LA Co. Fire Capt.