Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fighting Fire With Fire...

It's getting to be that time of year again. Grass fire season. This year has been abnormally quiet as far as brush fires go because of all the rain we've had. It's was kind of ironic, I was talking to a friend of mine on Sunday who works at the fire department and he said "With the dry windy weather we're supposed to have next week we are primed for a grass fire." He was right.
On Tuesday, one of our other photogs went out and shot a brush fire in the morning... it didn't seem all that big at the time. About an hour after I came in to work there was a call that the wind picked up and the fire was starting to get out of control again. So a reporter and I went out to the fire. When I got there was of the volunteer firefighters was setting a back fire, a smaller fire that burned up an area in the direction the fire was heading. Basically, the back fire was meant to give the fire no where to go when the fire gets to the already burned area and not be able to jump over the road. While I was shooting pictures I had no idea who was setting the fire until he came up to me and thanked me for some photos I took a couple of weeks earlier. The person setting the fires was the Merkel assistant chief (top photo) who also works for the Abilene fire department. I had shot some photos of a high school kid doing a ride along for the day. It was going to be a really cool story and I was supposed to get to ride on a fire truck... something I've wanted to do since I was a kid. The problem was, in the four hours I spent there there wasn't one damn call for that station!!
Oh well. It turned out well, since have hung out with these guys a couple weeks ago it got me an in at this fire. Most of the time volunteer fire departments are pretty helpful but there are the occasional ones that just want to feel important. These guys were pretty good, but knowing someone really helped. It just goes back to knowing that in this business it's always good to be nice to everyone because you never know who you will run into somewhere down the road. This time it really helpd and I was able to make a few nice frames from it.

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