The Beckwourth Complex Fire

July 7, 2021. Heading back from the hills I saw big smoke and decided to drive over to get a better idea of how close to me it actually was... it was about a mile from the highway. I pulled over to take a few snapshots. On that day reported it to be about 3000 acres. Currently, 4 days later, it is reported as 83,926 acres. It grew some.

Preview Flight

A few minutes earlier, the DC-10 had circled to survey the area.

Lower Approach

When it came back for the drop it was much lower.A DC-10 that has been converted to this use is known as a VLAT... Very Large AirTanker. They can carry over 11,000 gallons of fire retardant.

Crazy Low

The pilot flies crazy-low to drop the retardant. The shadow can give you an idea of how low the converted passenger jet really is to the ground.

The fire had just crested the knob on the left and was working its way forward. For a sense of scale, there are two airplanes in this picture, can you see them? Click the image to view it larger.

The Turbulence of the fire generated a funnel cloud... It's just right of center and pointing at the airplane.

An airplane just about dead center circles amidst the smoke & sky.

Death of a Tree

It's a sad thing to be watching the fire... Looking at the few old tall pines, standing so tall above the others, you hope for them to somehow survive. and then the flames jumps into the canopy and their crowns are consumed in a billow of black smoke.

Sky and Smoke

The smoke billows into the sky. Can you see the airplane? It is a speck in the dark area to the lower right. Click the picture to view it larger.

Smoking Knob

For a momenta hole opened up in the smoke plume to allow the sun to illuminate the smoke rising behind this rocky knob.

A plane banks before the billowing smoke.

More Smoke

A plane is dwarfed by the smoke that provides a background to it's flight

More Smoke, Another Plane

More Smoken another plane


A helicopter contributes its efforts to fighting the wildfire

More smoke from the Beckwourth Complex fire.

Banking Jet

From here on out there might be a lot of redundant pictures, but still I find them interesting to look at, even if I can find very little to say. If you like you can click on an image to view it large. Onve in the large viewer, you simply click on the image and it will automatically load the next picture.

Here is a composite image of the fire from a distance... just to give an idea of how big it was on that day... Remember on the day these where shot the total acreage burned was 3,000 acres. Ad I write this it is nearly 30 times larger.

Photography Posts
  The Beckwourth Complex Fire
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