There’s something mesmerizing about this fire photo; it intrigues me in a way I can’t explain. It looks like a painting. The flames seem impossibly orange. The smoke roils with color — grays, blacks, and menacing, choking browns; it has depth and layering. The deep green trees either fade into blue haze or pop with sharp detail. Often a photo like this is as much luck as skill. The photographer has to have the skill and equipment to get the shot, but being in the right place at exactly the right moment can be pure luck. A change in lighting when a cloud moves in front of the sun, an unexpected wind shift, or a sudden billow of smoke when another tree explodes. Photojournalist Sangosti, probably viewing the fire from a hovering news helicopter, had a very good day.
This photo, taken May 15, accompanies today’s Denver Post story about the Hewlett Gulch Fire now burning in the mountains northwest of Fort Collins, Colo. The fire began Monday afternoon, has grown to some 5,000 acres, and is only 5% contained.