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Al Swanson | profile | all galleries >> The NorCal Fires of 2008 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The NorCal Fires of 2008


If you're even casually interested in the news, you've no doubt seen the stories of the fires in NorCal during June/July of 2008. At one point, we had over 1000 fires burning throughout the northern part of the state. During early June, the town I live in, Paradise, sent more than 9000 residents packing due to fire danger. Since then, we've lived in "hazardous" air quality conditions. (The average air quality here during these months is measured at 10-15 - we currently are running 300+)

Here's some shots of the aftermath and the fight against the fires. I specifically refrained from any pictures that showed property destruction - I'm not interested in showing anyone's pain.

On a technical note, these are all shot with my new 40D, and some are with my new Tokina 12-24/4 Pro 124 DX. The rest are with the wonderful 100-400. This is the second copy for me and until and unless something MUCH better comes along, I'll be keeping this lens. I love the 40D AF system, especially when compared to my 30D. Just a great body.

If you want, say hey and let me know what you think.
I guess that says it all!
I guess that says it all!
Beauty amongst the ruin
Beauty amongst the ruin
Just above Butte College
Just above Butte College
Between Butte College and Highway 99
Between Butte College and Highway 99
Some of the local heros
Some of the local heros
One of the hundreds of signs thanking the firefighters
One of the hundreds of signs thanking the firefighters
Another of the signs...
Another of the signs...
More signs...
More signs...
Evacuation Route sign
Evacuation Route sign
One of the helo's fighting the last of the initial wave of fires
One of the helo's fighting the last of the initial wave of fires
Chinook and the Rainbow
Chinook and the Rainbow
Chinook and the Rainbow II
Chinook and the Rainbow II
Chinook and Blackhawk
Chinook and Blackhawk
Chinook and Blackhawk
Chinook and Blackhawk
Blackhawk with a fresh load
Blackhawk with a fresh load
Blackhawk ready to another run
Blackhawk ready to another run
Here comes the cavalry
Here comes the cavalry
Readying for the delivery
Readying for the delivery
Blackhawk on the way
Blackhawk on the way
One of the two Blackhawks flying
One of the two Blackhawks flying
Closeup on the Chinook
Closeup on the Chinook
Beginning deployment
Beginning deployment
You ordered the water?
You ordered the water?
This should cool you down
This should cool you down
A little water on the fire
A little water on the fire
Now it's the Blackhawk's turn
Now it's the Blackhawk's turn
Beginning the drop
Beginning the drop
Giving the fire a bath
Giving the fire a bath
Little more water...
Little more water...
Chinook getting ready to fill the basket
Chinook getting ready to fill the basket
Sending up the ground effect
Sending up the ground effect
Up and at 'em!
Up and at 'em!
Gaining speed for another run
Gaining speed for another run
A little spillage
A little spillage
The Chinook under load
The Chinook under load
One of the Blackhawks getting its fill
One of the Blackhawks getting its fill
Blackhawk ground effect
Blackhawk ground effect
Ready for another run
Ready for another run