It was a quiet evening with a brilliant red sunset visible through the tall pines of Flagstaff, Arizona. I was sitting with my neighbor in my front yard, each of us enjoying an Old Fashioned and toasting to another hot summer day. As the sun passed below the horizon line, and night set in, we noticed some smoke to the south that had more form and definition than what we were used to. I brushed it off as another controlled burn and retired to my house for the evening. After getting my daughter to bed, I took to washing the dishes, including the glass I had just had my cocktail from. To my surprise, there were ashes in it, a sign of things to come.
Wildfires have been raging in the West Coast of the US for over a month now. Oregon Department of Transportation recently shared a video captured with one of their radio tower cameras. It shows not only how fast the fire spreads, but the destruction of the camera itself was caught in the footage.
Wildfires are still raging across the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. The skies look surreal, making San Francisco look like Blade Runner. To show what it’s like to fly in the flaming red skies, San Francisco International Airport shared a timelapse video of an airplane taking off from one of its runways. And it looks like it wasn’t taken on this planet.
2020 is… well, it’s 2020. There’s never been a year in this planet’s history that we can compare it to. But, it’s pretty nuts. Right now, much of California and other western US states are suffering from some major wildfires which have so far killed at least 23, destroyed hundreds of homes and caused over 500,000 people to evacuate.
The fires seem more intense than in previous years and has actually caused some cities, like San Francisco to resemble scenes from the movie Blade Runner 2049, as the drone footage above from YouTuber DoctorSbaitso shows. If you watch the Blade Runner 2049 trailer from 58 seconds in, you’ll see exactly what people are talking about.
Massive wildfires are currently raging in the US West Coast. The skies have been colored orange and red, but you might not be able to accurately capture it with your phone camera. Many people have noticed that auto white balance on phone cameras is severely affecting orange and red hues. This makes this whole tragedy look way less dramatic and alarming than it is.
There are multiple wildfires burning in California right now. The one in El Dorado, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was reportedly caused by a smoke bomb. Cal Fire confirmed in a press release that the fire was caused at a gender reveal party, and it has burned over 12,000 acres so far.
Noah Berger has captured more than 100 of the world’s worst wildfires working as a news photographer for more than 25 years. It was in 2013 during the Rim Fire near Yosemite that he discovered his talent and affection for wildfires. The disasters he photographs have caused tremendous damage to nature and properties. They also won his team a finalist slot on the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.
The Camp Fire, named after the Camp Creek Road where it originated, is the most devastating wildfire in California’s history. Beginning on November 8th, Camp Fire spans more than 138,000 acres. It has decimated at least 8,000 buildings and claimed at least 50 lives with over 200 civilians still reported missing.
NASA has now released some high-resolution satellite images showing the scale of the wildfire. The image above shows Camp Fire in Butte County, California as soon from the Landsat 8 satellite on the morning of November 8th, 2018.
Up close and personal, wildfires are tragic and terrifying. But if you can step away from the chaos and capture things from a wider perspective, they can become a thing of beauty.