February 17 - March 14, 2009 Squaw Creek NWR

Controlled Burns and Firenadoes/Firewhirls

Controlled burn on the 24th. This made for some interesting scenes with snow geese. This day I did not stop down far enough on them.

Controlled burn on March 6th now. The only reason I was here was to find the checkbook I lost the day before here. Lucky me...for real. Lighting was off and on ok. Cirrus would dampen it from time to time.

I have a ton of these, but given I'm already adding around 140 pictures from these days and tired of it, well I'm probably posting too few from this.

I was going to head home at noon as I wasn't finding my checkbook and I was damn tired, having been here the last 3 days in a row. I was down the 3/4 mile walk to the look out thing as I thought this. I was barely able to stay awake standing on that thing. I start walking back and see a couple way down there walking out on it. As I get to them they ask, "Did you lose a Nebraska notepad or checkbook or something?" I about crapped. I'd looked all over for a second day in a row and figured it had to be back at home, even though I looked everywhere there. I did not think I'd ever find it here. So I say yeah and they tell me it's right back down there in the middle! Sure enough! As I walked out there I was looking for it on the rocks as I sat on those the day before. I was planning to watch the middle as I walked back but who knows if I would have. I likely would have seen it as I walked back, but thankfully they told me it was there. I was pumped after that and wound up staying the rest of the day.

As I watched this burning get started

Dick McGowan

texts me about some crazy scene and firenados. I thought he was coming back here this day and was certain he was here looking at the same fire I was. So I drove down the road towards it, but he wasn't around. I call and turns out he's at home near KC. Too strange he was watching a controlled burn there too as this one started here, while at the same time he was supposed to have come up here today. So anyway thanks to him for giving me the heads up on the firenado thing he was seeing. I made sure to watch for them here and caught a huge one. Above is a smaller early one.

I almost think this one here is the same one as the rest on here. This one looked pretty cool in there as the whitish tube.

The problem was if there was a ton of smoke you would not see the vortex. You can just barely make it out in this one. Very tall!

Not hard to see here! It would really fan the flames upward wherever it went.

I should post some bigger crops of these showing the lower vortex, but just not enough time now.

Vortex at the ground was quite intense looking at times.

As the smoke thinned the thing really stood out. A slightly strange scene for sure, lol.

Clear at the top you can see smoke and dust wrapping around the thing.

Kind of strange with the geese too! My biggest regret was not having a tripod with the video camera on it and ready for it so I could shoot both. I did try and grab a bit of video, mostly for anyone that says, oh that's photoshopped in there. I tend to do that whenever I see something I think could warrant such a claim.

I have to add more to this too as there are some pretty cool fire and smoke scenes without the vortex/firenado stuff. If nothing else perhaps they'll make it into the stock section.