For the most part covering a brush fire is a matter of always thinking about safety. That means thinking about such things as being in a safe area, wearing the proper protective fire gear and, among other things, making sure you always have an escape route.
Two things happened during our coverage of the 'Bluecut Fire' to reinforce that. For one, a firefighter drove by as and asked "do you guys have an escape plan?" "Yes, we do," we fired back. Our news van was parked in a way to get out quickly. "Nose out," I said.
As many fires as I've covered over the years a fast escape has rarely been necessary, but today the flames kept marching toward us and we kept moving. We must have moved 4 time in response to the quick-moving wall of fire.
By 5pm, top of our newscast, we were what seemed to me to be in a safe spot. After our live shot my photographer, Gary Brainard, could see the flames cresting over the hill. He said "let's move" again. We did. And, thought we were in a good spot. That brings us to 5:30pm.
A minute or two before we were live again a firefighter drove by. This time the words were, "be careful the heat WILL hurt you." A minute later we're on the air and, BAM, the flames got so close we could feel the heat. We were fine, but it clearly was time to wrap it up and head... "nose out."
We did! It's all about being safe and smart right?
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