Firefighters Attack a Brush Fire

There’s a photographer’s adage that you should always have a camera with you, because you never know what unexpected excitement you might stumble into when you’re out and about. This is even easier to do if the unexpected excitement is next door.

The brush fire in my neighbor’s yard, for example.

It started when part of a power line shorted out and melted, and dropped a hot piece of plastic into the nice dry grass below. It went from a smolder one minute to a raging fire the next once it hit the chaparral, with flames 30-40’ in the air. My wife and another passerby were holding it partly at bay with a garden hose.

Fortunately, by the time I got up to the road to see what was going on, three different fire departments were arriving, and they had it out in just a couple minutes. But it was too fast for me — by the time I ran back and got my camera the flames were gone. I was able to get a couple nice shots of the badass firefighters at work, but not the exciting “wall of fire” shots. Which is just as well, really, considering I live 100 yards away.

Remember Californians: defensible space!

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