Photo of the Week – May 1, 2014

I’ve conducted hundreds of prairie fires without incident, but still feel a sense of relief every time we wrap another one up successfully.

Today’s featured photo shows the tail end – the denouement, if you will – of one of this year’s spring fires.  To me, it perfectly captures the emotion of finishing a successful burn.  The crew has just finished lighting the last segments of the fireline and finally, after a couple hours of hard work to keep the fire within our mowed firebreaks, we can all relax for a few minutes and just watch the fire burn itself out.

Ignition complete.

Ignition complete.

It’s hard for me to judge the aesthetic or artistic quality of images like this one because the way I feel about this image is so tied to how I felt when I took it.  When I look at this photo, I can actually feel my stomach unknotting as I made the mental switch from the stress of keeping the fire corralled to the much easier tasks of mop-up and debriefing with the crew.

Anyway, I hope the image is interesting for you to look at as well…