The Bernardo Fire and a San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation Fund Raiser
In May of 2014, fires ravaged San Diego County. It was an emotional week – scary, harrowing, surreal. The Bernardo Fire was the first fire. It alone burned more than 1500 acres of land. Two days later, 11 fires burned across the county. Homes were lost. Many were saved. The damage would have been a lot worse without our local firefighters and first responders.
I'm a photographer. I want to take pictures. I do not feel comfortable "touring" neighborhoods that were burned – the news networks provided plenty of coverage for that. However, I did want to capture a glimpse of the burn, the smoky gray skies, and the haze that hung over the county.
After my neighborhood was declared safe, other fires a few miles away fed the gray blanket that was our all-to-familiar sky for the week. One evening, the sun finally cut through the haze. The smell of smoke was still very strong. I could taste the smoke and feel ash on my teeth. I took my frames and headed home.
I have that luxury. I get to leave when I'm not comfortable. I drove home imagining what our firefighters must go through when battling a blaze. It's hot. Unpredictable. Relentlessly dangerous. And they keep fighting. For them, I am truly thankful.