Time lapse is an incredible way to visually display progress. I think we can all agree on that. And progress is good, right? Not always. In the midst of another very active fire season, fires have been progressing rapidly due to high winds, an abundance of fuel (dead branches and leaves), and non-existent precipitation. And time lapse videos of some of the fires are popping up all over the web showing this progress.
This quite literally hits home, as I live only a few miles from the Decker Fire, which is happening just outside of Salida, Colorado (I’m watching the smoke billow from the mountainside across the valley as I type this). This fire was caused by a lightning strike over a month ago. It’s grown to over 8,400 acres and is only 30% contained. Thankfully, it’s stayed mostly in the wilderness, however a few evacuations have taken place. The time lapse below is predominantly shot just down the street from where I live and has been my view every day since lightning struck.
Another fire that has been all over the news as of late is the Saddleridge Fire in San Fernando Valley, California. It’s currently about 8,300 acres and is 46% contained. Unlike the Decker Fire, this fire is very close to town, and has claimed 107 structures, displacing thousands of residents. Below is a time lapse shot at night which chillingly shows the blaze’s desctructive path.
While this type of progress is a bit scary to watch, the use of time lapse photography allows the viewer to understand the magnitude of the fires as a whole. It’s one thing to see the smoke every day, but it’s quite another to actually watch the fire take over the mountainside.
As a self-proclaimed time lapse nerd, it’s amazing to be able to see a fire’s behavior in this way. But, they can be put out now.