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  • It was a beautiful Sunday morning. No winds and no clouds, just the smell of smoke and the sound of helicopters buzzing overhead. It was a stark reminder of the reality for that day, the reality being that brush fires were blazing through the area, and they were getting pretty close to my house.

    There had been a battle between firefighters and the blaze for 3 days now and the firefighters we're just starting to get it under control. I had heard that there were firefighters doing controlled burns just down the street from my house, so I grabbed my camera and headed over there.

    I arrived to find a crowd of people watching as firefighters cautiously put a flame to the brush. They did so very carefully and at times it looked as if they didn't even want to burn the brush. Maybe they were frightful of starting a huge blaze, maybe they were just tired and exhausted from battling the flames.

    While I was photographing such a simple act, the act of burning something, I found that I was very much intrigued by what was going on. I was in the moment, capturing photos in a way I had never done so before. It was during this time that I noticed a firefighter staring into the smoke. He seemed almost at peace. He stayed still for much longer than anyone else there, almost as if he was entranced by the smoke.
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