[lug] some of my pix from the fire

Jeremy Hinegardner jeremy at hinegardner.org
Sat Jan 10 16:07:52 MST 2009

On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 03:01:39PM -0700, Tom Christiansen wrote:
> At 
> please find some of the shots I took all night Wednesday of the "little"
> fire (1400/3600 acres or so) back behind my house a-ways.  Most have had
> no editing (or the filenames would say so by being called -alt or -crop).
> The first row of four shows the progression that led to my being nervous.
> It should be obvious why. Some of the later ones, if you zoom way in, show
> silhouettes of firefighters on the line.
> I have a time-lapse of a few dozen shots in a row, each at 2s exposures,
> that I need to figure out to make an animated GIF out of.
> The newspaper pix told nothing about how it looked from my house, and
> the nationwide AP story the next day messed up badly, reporting only on the
> lesser Niwot Fire of 100 acres, not on the MUCH bigger and scarier one I
> document.  Of course, Niwot Ridge has all those 7000-ft? horse-mansions on
> it, so that's what they keyed on.  Plus my fire didn't get terrible until
> after the AP story went out to the non-local papers.
> Pic 4 in the sequence, the very scary one, was the backfire the 300
> firefighters lit along US-36 and right-angling up by the houses to try to
> make a firebreak.  It flared up very tall and very brightly, and I couldn't
> tell quite where it was.  It looked like Wonderland Lake's woods were
> aflame. and coming at me.
> That's when I called the cops to find out whether I was in the evacuation
> zone; I wasn't, and they said they'd reverse-911 me if needed.  Turns out
> only 10% of the people who got the evac call actually did so!
> The firefighters' plan worked, and it's truly amazing how few injuries
> resulted and how few structures were damaged.  The fire did leap US-36 and
> merge with the Niwot Fire, but that happened further north from that point.
> I'm glad Google has added a terrain option with proper topo lines,
> so people can see just how steep it was there.  Compare the usefulness
> of a satellite photo (which, being the ultimate of all telephotos shots,
> compresses all perspective into 2D flatness) with tight topography lines:
> Map + Sat version:
> http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=40.07252&lon=-105.29114&zoom=15&type=hyb&units=english
> &rad=0&wxsn=1&wxsn.mode=tw&svr=0&cams=1&sat=0&riv=0&mm=0&hur=0&fire=0&tor=0&ndfd=0&pix=0
> Map + Topo version:
> http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=40.06769&lon=-105.28378&zoom=14&type=hyb&units=english
> &rad=1&rad.num=1&rad.spd=25&rad.opa=70&rad.stm=0&rad.type=N0R&rad.smo=1&rad.mrg=0&wxsn=1&wxsn.mod
> e=tw&svr=0&cams=0&sat=0&riv=0&mm=0&hur=0&fire=1&tor=0&ndfd=0&pix=0

I made some images of the fire myself, these are all taken from N 21st street
just north of Hwy 36 off of Yarmouth.  Its not too far from where they held some
of the press conferences.


A couple of mine are a few second exposures.

There was a lot of local Twitter activity around the fire, which you can see at

Both the Colorado Daily and Boulder County had presences on Twitter relaying
official information.  It was a great example of how social media can provide an
additional avenue of communication in times of disaster.  Several people I know
were evacuated and Twitter was one way they kept tabs on what was going on.

There is also a Flickr group showcasing a large number of peoples photos
surrounding the fire: http://flickr.com/groups/boulderfire/pool/



 Jeremy Hinegardner                              jeremy at hinegardner.org 

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