Photo Essay

Just Another Day at the Office

Chemical Burn

For me it was just like any other Saturday. I gathered my boardshorts, surfboard, and towel and headed towards the beach to soak up all that mother nature could conjure. But on this Saturday mother nature heard my challenge.

Not ten minutes down the street I came to a popular highway (Hwy 76) which travels between two very large Southern California freeways (the 5 and the 15). At first everything seemed normal until the sound of the fire engine and police sirens filled the countryside. I pulled over to let the engines and police pass and noticed that they were stopping right next to me. I followed there eyes and that's when I noticed that the dry riverbed that paralleled the Highway was being engulfed in flames.

Thankfully I had my camera on me in hopes to catch some shots of my buddies surfing. I parked the car and tracked down a firefighter to ask if I could take some shots of his team. He was more than gracious and let me follow them to the front lines of the fight.

After the rest of the engines and team arrived, there was a quick meeting to create a plan. They called in the big guns to get an immediete handle on things. A bomber from the local Camp Pendeleton flew through and dropped a fire retardant along the highways edge to keep the fire from jumping across into an area of 100's of acres of brush and housing developments. Then came the Helicopter's to drop water that they picked up from a very nearby golf-course pond. Also called in were female inmates that volunteered for ground work at a prison to clear brush and weeds. Some controlled fires were lit to take away the fuel from the wildfire and slowly it died down. The orange flamed turned to dark/thick smoke and billowed through the sky covering the sun.

They were able to contain the flames to just the uninhabited riverbed with no structures being damaged. I was able to get some contact information for of the firefighters to pass along my photos who were very happy to have something to show.

My gratitude goes out to the men and women who put their lives on the line.

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Hi there!

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http://jpgmag.com/stories/18820

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—The JPG team

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