This Video Gets Up Close and Personal With California Wildfires


When a forest fire threatens, most people try to stay clear of the area—but there are some whose job it is to go directly into the blaze. For a documentary project called Fire Chasers, photographer Jeff Frost followed members of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as they worked to save the trees and nearby communities from massive wildfires. In a recently released high definition 4K preview video, Frost highlights the intense and breathtaking views seen by the firefighters risking their lives to contain and quench the flames.

During one section of the timelapse footage, the flames span the entire valley. "As crazy as it looks, that was the mellow part of my day," Frost told The Creator's Project. The photographer admits that there are drawbacks to using timelapse techniques in the middle of such a dangerous event.

"If I had any sense I'd be using a bunch of slow-motion cameras, but they're too bloody expensive," he said. "Timelapse is the exact wrong technique to be using in a run and gun scenario, which is maybe why I'm doing it. Because I'm all wrong. So it's back to the basics compared to a lot of my other work."

The 4K footage is all shot from Frost's stationary and mobile POV. However, the photographer said that he is hoping to use helicopters and drones in the future—as long as they don't cause safety problems.

"NOTE: NO DRONES IN FIRE ZONES, PEOPLE!" he told The Creator's Project. "It causes the aircraft to be grounded because they don't wanna be smacking into things in the sky while they're fighting fires. IF we get to do it at all it's going to be with the coordination of the people on the ground fighting the fires."

The video above will be available to download for free on Vimeo until March 15. Check it out above, and take a look at Jeff Frost's social media accounts for still images of the fires and future updates on the Fire Chasers project.

[h/t Hypebeast]

Banner image via Jeff Frost on Vimeo