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This spring, the fire season came early in Alaska—we had a dry May, and fires burned nearly a million acres in two weeks—one fire north of Fairbanks developed into a firestorm, moving up a ridge at several miles per hour, fire behavior never seen in Alaska before.  Most of these fires were put out by rains in early June (thank god—June is usually dry), and I traveled to the site of the firestorm a couple days after the rain, to photograph the damage (maybe I would have preferred to photograph the fire, but I was grateful that it was out…).

Elliot Burn, June 5, 2010

Elliot Burn, June 5, 2010

The fire was started by a lightning strike (a natural cause) in an undeveloped area (is it wilderness?), so maybe the fire was natural.  But there was hardly any snow on the ground at the end of winter this year, and spring came early (evidence of global climate change?), so maybe the fire wasn’t so natural.  And instead of drilling in the wilderness of ANWR, we’ve drilled deep in the gulf…  And I drove 200 miles just to make some photographs, releasing about 250 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air, but this fire just released millions of tons…

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  1. […] did manage to revisit the site of one fire I photographed in June, 2010, and made some new photographs—with the new Sony NEX camera rather than the bulky […]

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