Photo of the Week – March 30, 2012

Recently, I wrote about the dangers of prescribed fire, in what turned out to be kind of a downer of a post.  Sorry about that.  My main point, really, was that burning without clear objectives is just taking a risk for no good reason.  I also think it’s important for all of us to be reminded of just how dangerous fire can be.

As a kind of counterbalance to that post, however, I present the following photo from one of our fires this spring.  To me, the photo elicits a wide range of emotions.  It illustrates both the beauty and dangerous power of fire, all wrapped up in one frozen (so to speak) moment in time.

A 2012 prescribed fire in The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies.

Yes, fire can be destructive, but it’s also an important component of many ecosystems and their conservation – not to mention the critical role fire has played in the evolution of human civilization.  More to the point of this post, fire is incredibly appealing.  Just think about how many images of flames and fire appear all around us in our daily lives… 

While prescribed fires are stressful for me, I can still find time to appreciate – and sometimes even photograph – the beauty of fire as well. 

…and later, after the fire is safely out, I can appreciate the photos even more!