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Author Topic: I must have had a burning desire to ride... very cool photo opportunities today!  (Read 1979 times)
Olive
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« on: August 04, 2011, 12:01:13 AM »
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Took a ride into Kananaskis Country (Highwood Pass) today and was fortunate to encounter a major prescribed burn. This burn has been in planning/preparation for three years and covers 400-500 hectares.

Initially I was a little disgruntled to see the signage indicating the possibility of heavy smoke ahead.  I really didn't want to turn back, but I also wasn't in the mood for riding through thick smoke - my experience of southern Georgia and Florida still on my mind.  I had been hoping to get a few good pictures and figured that a smoky haze would make that very unlikely.

That was until I saw the fire.

The wind was calm enough that the smoke hadn't spread and it provided some great viewing and photography opportunities along the road. I also had the opportunity to chat with the incident commander who had stopped to take a few photos of his own, and he was eager to talk about the fire, drip torches, fire control (water bombing) and more.

I found a couple of great vantage point for pics of the showy, billowing smoke:









I captured helicopters using heli-torches (dropping burning blobs of gelled gasoline) to light areas of the fire.

A giant drip-torch hangs below the helicopter and is fed by a drum of gelled gasoline slung underneath the helicopter. Diesel, unleaded, avgas, or some combination of these is mixed with a jelling agent - the mix of fuels used depend on conditions. The fuel is ignited before it is dropped on the fire in a steady stream of blobs of burning fuel. If the jelled fuel were under pressure it would basically be napalm.



Helicopters dumping buckets of water on the edges of the burn area.







Later I followed the helicopters back to Wedge Lake and had a lake-front seat watching them pick up buckets of water. Got some incredible shots of the action.











Wildlife wasn't nearly as happy about the smoke, flames or noise and were vacating the area enmasse heading across and down the highway. Deer, elk, longhorn sheep, mountain goat, black bears, grizzly bears, wolf, moose and a lot of smaller critters were displaced. Made for an interesting stretch to ride.

More images can be viewed here

I took about 350 photos today, about 320 of which were the fire.  The link is only the top 25.  The photos I took earlier on in the ride of wildlife and scenery just paled in comparison, but I will share them at a later date.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 12:03:05 AM by Olive » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 06:51:12 AM »
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Great shots O, really no surprise there though as thats your normal MO. So what was the game plan for getting animals outta there, seems they wouldn't wanna just fry em.
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2011, 07:31:53 AM »
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Gottta agree with the MO thing, O !  Very nice !  ......   occasion14
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 08:01:35 AM »
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Light fire.  Animals take care of own evacuation. They aren't keen about flames, smoke, helicopters...
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 08:44:42 AM »
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Light fire.  Animals take care of own evacuation. They aren't keen about flames, smoke, helicopters...
Seems simple enough, run, (if you can) or die furry fookers. Too bad if you're a Polar bear with hip displacia or a juvenile diabetic Rhino, even a bunyun ridden Girraffe.....trouble is a coming and its coming fast...dont blame Billy Joel cause "he didn't start the fire" and dont call the fire dept...... cause they did  violent5
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 08:57:28 AM »
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Hmmm... Perhaps I ought to go back today and bring the BBQ sauce.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 02:47:02 PM »
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 icon_thumleft Cool Pics!
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