10 on 10 JULY | Fire on the Mountain | Los Angeles Photographer

It’s that time again, 10 images on the 10th of the month that tell a single story.  Follow the blog roll through the
other photographers this month for truly inspired photo-editorial stories!  NEXT UP,  Leilani’s 10 on 10.

I usually dedicate my 10 on 10 each month to tell the stories of myself and my kids.
But this month–the fire started yesterday and is still raging–there was Fire on the mountain!



I usually dedicate my 10 on 10 each month to tell the stories of myself and my kids.
But this month–the fire started yesterday and is still raging–there was Fire on the mountain!

The fire broke out around noon today, started by a hot car on the side of Interstate 5, spontaneously igniting
the dry grasses next to it.  The fire became monstrous in minutes, rushing towards hundreds of homes, necessitating mandatory evacuations
of 2000 residents within a couple of hours.   5 Years of severe drought in Southern California…this is the treachery that ensues quick, unfortunately.

I live on a golf course across the freeway from where the fire broke out, thus the golf course is where I begin.
My journey through the day, documenting the fire from 7 different locations low and high, is not only
about the fire and the brave souls that are fighting it.   It is also about the juxtaposition of the
smoke and fire with favorite  bits of locations and objects along my route.  Enjoy!

**ALL photos are exact crops caught with my 70-200L 2.8 lens)

The view from outside my front door at the end of the side walk.  The fire is clearly NOT
stopping the action on the golf course.  Ha!

Helicopters lowering down onto the golf course where I live to suck up water from the ponds.  They performed this maneuver at least
100 times today, over and over, going directly over our house within a few hundred feet.
I dare say we have the best firemen in the world.  HANDS DOWN!

The smoke blocked out the sun fairly quickly, casting a deep orange glow over the whole area.  

The bulk of the fire, racing up the mountain behind homes.

This HHUUGGEE C130  airplane circled over and over.  It was such an amazing site gliding over the fire.  Eventually it
dumped bright red “Phos-Chek” in the areas ahead of the fire to keep it from heading toward a certain pocket of homes.
it was only about 200′ above my head as it circled the park I was shooting from above Stevenson Ranch.
I love how I finally caught it  next to the moon.  🙂 (NO CROP on the photo)

The same C130 dropping its “phos-chek” on a hotspot on the mountain below.  What and AMAZING site to see.

Two firemen are on the point of the hill  and 3 more are climbing the left ridge watching the DC-10 fly over after a drop.
One of my favorite captures of the day.

A poor soul’s brand new BMW covered in “phos-chek” fire retardant dropped by the DC-10 plane.  Let’s hope it comes off.  Yikes. The kids and I jumped in the car to go watch the fire, accompanied by many others
who also stopped to watch the mountains burn.  As scary as it is, its oddly beautiful!

The moon above GIANT flames (below the frame of the photo) tonight on the other side of the freeway.


OUTTAKES that tell more of the story!

The background shrouded in smoke across the freeway.

The Fire Department helicopters that crossed the freeway back and forth ALL day long, one after the other,
to scoop down onto the golf course to suck up water from the ponds.  They then drop the water on the fires.

A hot spot coming down towards homes, which were all being evacuated.

One of the planes dropping fire retardant on the hotspot.

It seemed as if these planes would collide, as they crisscrossed and followed each other all day long, one spotting
hotspots, the next one dropping retardant.

Several different planes spotted fires and dropped retardant and “phoscheck” to stop the spread of the fires.
They were so close I could have thrown a rock and hit them as the panned around toward the fire.

My Raven, in the last bit of night, watching the fire along the freeway.



Now head on to Leilani’s blog!


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  • July 10, 2016 - 1:52 pm

    Larry M Hoke - Great job Kate. Having been a firefighter it is hard to watch without putting myself out there with them. These folks run towards danger never knowing for 100% sure what lies ahead. My prayers go out for their safety.


  • July 10, 2016 - 1:59 pm

    Leilani - Such a tragic story for the community, but a natural happening in nature. You nailed the story with landscapes and the details. Lovely work!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2016 - 6:59 am

    Maite Pons - Wow. These are all amazing! That one of the golfer – man!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2016 - 5:57 pm

    STACI KENNELLY - These are amazing!ReplyCancel

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