As wildfires rage through California, photographers Patrick Fallon and Jonathan Alcorn describe working on the fire line.
By Patrick Fallon
Driving up the 101 towards the Dos Vientos neighborhood in Newbury Park, California, I could see the fire’s thick, black smoke – a sign the fire was burning fresh brush, fueled by strong winds.
When I arrived the neighborhood was under an orange tint from the smoke in the air. Sheriff Deputies were going door to door, helping people evacuate, while a group of young men helped their neighbors, jumping from yard to yard to hose down the back yards as firefighters held back the fire on the hills above the home.
In order to meet deadlines, we often have to shoot and move swiftly to get our pictures out. This requires a careful balance between when to keep looking for pictures and when to start editing and transmitting.
The firefighting equipment I wear, including a helmet, goggles, face shroud, fire shelter pack, jacket and pants, can make photographing awkward. Even with protective gear, the hot, dry air stung my eyes.