chasing fire!


When we first saw smoke, it looked ominous.

So why did we don multiple jackets to stand in pitch darkness in a spot that seemed suspiciously like the middle of nowhere? To see fire of course!

It all started when we saw smoke rising from a forested mountainside. Mrs. Krahanpix’s interest in fire is even stronger than mine and she insisted we investigate.


On closer inspection, the fires all seemed a little organized and we later confirmed they were intentionally lit by park staff to clear out fallen trees preventing larger fires and to create habitat for wildlife.

Our fascination with fire extends to fancy restaurants that cook with fire at the table, staring at brilliant flames in our backyard  fire pit, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, sitting by a fireplace, hiking through burned out forests, telling tall tales by a fire and seeing the rejuvenation of forests with increased wildlife after a fire has been through. To top that all off, where does my wife work – the fire department of course!

A closer inspection of the fires on the mountainside revealed that they were a little too organized to be wild. We found out later they had been set by national park staff.

Seeing the fire was appealing so it was only natural to go back after dark to see what it looked like at night.

After driving for some time, we found an extremely dark and quiet spot to get a good view. I’m sure it was only us and nocturnal animals wandering around – thankfully none of them mistook us for a snack.

We needed magnification to help us out since the fire may have been one or two km in the distance and up on the side of a mountain. Armed with binoculars and a long lens, we were able to view the fire’s spectacular contrast with the night. It was definitely worth the drive.

Once we had our fire fix for the night, we went to a restaurant and sat next to an open pizza oven fuelled by what else, a fire.

Yes, it was another good evening with fire.


A fire at night adds a lot more drama.


The next day we drove by this area, the falling snow was so thick we find no evidence of the fire.

Latest Comments

  1. hannele says:

    Beautiful night photos. I’m glad to hear they start fires intentionally in national parks there – there are so many species that are dependent on it! And it makes for great photos, of course.


  2. Steve Schwartzman says:

    You’re right about those night pictures adding drama; I find them more compelling than the day pictures.


  3. Beth Walsh's Photoblog says:

    Beautiful night shots of the fire…well worth returning.


  4. melodylowes says:

    There’s just something about fire… Those pics in the dark are incredible. (Do I smell marshmallows?)


  5. FeyGirl says:

    Entrancing images… I love her determined curiosity, heh!! Sounds familiar. 🙂 The night shots are truly gorgeous.


  6. Stefano says:

    I love the last image: very powerful and perfectly exposed and composed. Awesome.


  7. bits and pieces on photo says:

    Beautiful dramatic photos.


  8. itchierfeet says:

    Fire is mesmerising isn’t it? I great visual story too.


  9. Mind Margins says:

    Very cool! I’ve never seen a huge fire like that at night. Can you imagine what Yellowstone must have looked like at night when they had the huge fire there years ago?


  10. Erika says:

    What an interesting thing to take night pictures of. They came out very well, and I can understand how it would be very fascinating to see something like this in real life. Awesome photos!


  11. Hebrew of Yhwh: stranger, sojourner, son says:

    Those night picutures are reallly interesting to look at.


  12. idiotphotographer says:

    Just lovely, I’ll admit I’m a bit of a fire bug too but have not had the chance to see something like this. Thanks for sharing!


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I had never seen anything like before that either. It’s nice to be able to view it from so far away. I think the fascination with fire grabs a lot of people.


  13. Dick Trew says:

    These are spectacular–fire is fascinating–its spellbinding hold is so fundamental, so visceral. Surely the images renew our “burned” memory images of fires–ones we have known and changed us. Thank you.


  14. Gunta says:

    We had a wildfire break out in the mountains not far from our home in Utah. It was thrilling and unsettling to watch with an evacuation order imminent. There’s a different feel to it when your home could be threatened. Luckily the wind shifted and we were safe, but I don’t know how often I got up that night to look at the mountain to see if it might have turned around. Next, here in Oregon, we lived across the street from a huge tree farm. After they did the clearcut, they would set fire to the remaining brush. Crazy wild to watch helicopters buzzing overhead lighting the hillside up with napalm.


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Both of those experiences would add a whole new dimension to watching fire. Thankfully they didn’t affect you. I suspect the raw power of fire in some strange way adds to its appeal.


  15. Phil Lanoue says:

    Very cool night views of that fire. Pizza after sounds perfect too!


  16. zannyro says:

    Wow! You really had an adventure!!


  17. toughlittlebirds says:

    The night photos are very dramatic! Did you have to use a really long exposure for them?


  18. whichwaynow101 says:

    Good to know it was a controlled burn. Great pics!


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes we were quite relieved that it wasn’t real – then it was just fun to enjoy. I was a bit surprised how well the last photos turned out since we were so far away. I appreciate the comment.


  19. Mary says:

    Amazing photos


  20. mihrank says:

    Reblogged this on mihran Kalaydjian and commented:
    chasing fire!


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