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Old Oct 23, 2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Scary Sight

As we came back from Bakersfield today, we found a scary sight not all that far from our subdivision. It's been a mild summer and autumn, but still things are pretty dry.



I had an interesting time watching the helicopters working the fire. They used the pond at the county park for water, so I was able to get relatively close to them as they filled up. The fire was just across the valley from the park, so they didn't have far to go. Filling up:



Taking off:





Dropping their load:





Both of the pictures above were cropped, the first one significantly so.

And then return for more water:



They also had at least one fixed wing aircraft, and then this helicopter that was dropping fire retardant. Made for an interesting picture.



They also had people on the ground. While the terrain is quite steep, it's very accessible, since it is so close to town. Luckily they were able to limit the fire to 20 or so acres and stopped the run that had been heading toward nearby homes. It turned out to be an interesting photo op, not a dangerous situation, thank heavens.
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Old Oct 23, 2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Very interesting series indeed. Thanks for posting !
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Old Oct 23, 2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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Nice set. Really is scary though.
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Old Oct 23, 2011, 1:32 PM   #4
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Living in such dry country, it must have been very frightening. I have been told that once wildfires get going in Southern California, it's very difficult to get them under control. You did an excellent job of photographing the ordeal. I imagine it wasn't easy as you probably had some very serious concerns on your mind.
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Old Oct 23, 2011, 1:44 PM   #5
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Nice action shots, glad to hear it didn't turn into an issue for you guys out there

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Old Oct 23, 2011, 1:50 PM   #6
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While I do worry about fires in the area, they happen almost every year. If they happen along the freeway (very common) they get put out pretty quickly. Ones like this are jumped on very, very quickly since it's close to homes. Also, we've had a mild summer so things aren't completely dried out. It's the ones that are a mile or more from the nearest road, that don't get noticed right away, that can get out of hand so quickly.

My main problem yesterday is that I hadn't checked all of the settings - the camera was set to a +Ev setting (was shooting things that were mostly white) and so the pictures were a bit overexposed. At least I had shot RAW so it was easy to recover most of them.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 9:01 AM   #7
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Great action pictures and very sharp images, especially number four. The good news is found in your last sentence: "interesting photo op, but not a dangerous situation..."
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 5:57 PM   #8
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Send them in to your local newpaper. I bet one of them will make it. Nice shots.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 9:08 PM   #9
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My local paper already had some pictures submitted to them before I managed to make it back to the park (we had been down to Bakersfield and I hadn't taken my camera - urrr). Several of them were from one of the houses that was closest to the fire. Mine weren't as good as those, and a number of others submitted just as good shots of the helicopters filling up at the pond (I wasn't the only one around taking pictures and watching the fire).
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