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Forest Fires

Forest Fire. Image used under a Collective Commons License from

Forest fires are spectacular to watch, but sadly are so destructive and hard to stop, especially when the weather is hot and dry.

A while ago in California, when huge forest fires were raging out of control up in the mountains, a photographer wanted to get photos of the fires for the national magazine that he worked for.

Unfortunately, it was impossible to get anywhere close to the fires as the smoke was too thick, so in desperation he called his office to try and charter a plane to take him up and fly over the fires.

His editor assured him that the plane would be ready for him when he arrived at the airport, so the photographer got ready and made his way there.

When he arrived at the small rural airport, sure enough, there was a plane warming up near the runway.

The photographer parked up his car, got out and jumped into the plane with his equipment.

Wanting to get busy taking pictures as soon as he could, he called out to the pilot and said, “Let’s go!”

The pilot taxied along to the runway, opened up the throttle and soon they were up in the air.

“Just fly over the north side of the fire”, the photographer said, “and make three or four low level passes”.

“Why do you want me to do that?” the pilot asked.

“Because I’m going to take pictures!” came the reply. “I’m a photographer and that’s what photographers do, they take pictures!”.

After a few minutes of silence, the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”

Well I hope the photographer got his pictures, but I suspect the pilot might have headed back to the airfield in a panic!

I used to fly quite a lot for work and a friend always used to say before a trip that if I crashed, take plenty of photos as I spiral down and leave the camera to him in my will.

Image used under a Collective Commons License from

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