I told him I always wanted to get forest fire photos, but never had the chance. I asked if he had time to go and he said sure. I had a camera in the car and my dad as a navigator so we started driving west on highway 2. The smoke was just whitish gray at the time, not the striking orange and red as in the image above.
We drove about twelve miles west and turned on the only paved road going north through the Moquah barrens in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. We just kept following the smoke and after several more miles we came to a dirt road going west towards the fire.
Fire crews had just ignited the blaze and the fire was quickly burning through the under story and up into some of the larger pine trees.
The Fish & Wildlife, or forest Service employee said we had to stay where we were as the fire moved away. I had been shooting hand held, but went to the car to get a tripod as it was getting dark and the shutter speeds were getting slow.
Trees that had been aflame moments earlier were now starkly silhouetted as the fire itself threw colorful light onto the smoke billowing towards the sky.
Some of the crews walked back towards their vehicles before driving off along the edge of the fire.