It’s a rolling tragedy, in time-lapse. Fire always offers a chance at beauty, if we don’t think about the destruction the fire wreaks.
A lot of cameras around Yosemite, and some were set to do time-lapse photos of the recent Rim Fire. One hopes there is some academic value to these films, perhaps in demonstrating how the diurnal rhythms of the atmosphere changes the behavior of fire (notice how smoke often changes directions at sunset, and then at sunrise, and back again).
All that smoke. Much of it was living plant material just a few weeks ago, and we watch it turned to tiny particles and gases, and spread by the winds.
More information from the filmmakers and posters:
Published on Aug 28, 2013
Time-lapse photography shows various perspectives of the 2013 Rim Fire, as viewed from Yosemite National Park. The first part of this video is from the Crane Flat Helibase. The fire [was] . . .burning in wilderness and . . . not immediately threatening visitors or employees. The second half of the video is from Glacier Point, showing Yosemite Valley, and how little the smoke from the fire has impacted the Valley.
In this next piece, you’ll see footage of fire fighting operations, including a back-burn, and helicoptering of supplies to firefighters on the front lines. It’s the non-time-lapse version, with wildtrack sound.
Published on Sep 7, 2013
Fire crews in Yosemite conducted firing operations along the Tioga Road this week to provide a buffer of protection from the Rim Fire. As you can see in this video, the fire mostly burns debris on the forest floor rather than the trees. It’s only when the forest floor accumulates too much debris or too many young trees that a small fire like this gets hot enough to torch mature trees and spread from treetop to treetop.
Later in the video, we give you a behind-the-scenes peek at Yosemite’s Helicopter 551 ferrying supplies from the Crane Flat helibase.
The timelapse, from August, has over a million-and-a-half views on YouTube; the non-timelapse, a few weeks later, has fewer than 6,000 views, as I write this. Time-lapse is very popular.
- A Stunning Time-Lapse Video Of The Enormous Yosemite Wildfire (businessinsider.com)
- Time-lapse of the Yosemite fire (matadornetwork.com)
- California Rim Fire grows: Astonishing timelapse videos from Yosemite (washingtonpost.com)
- “From Yosemite to Colorado, our approach to wildfires is all wrong,” Stephen Pyne of Arizona State University, in the Washington Post
- “9 scary facts about the Yosemite fire,” Mother Jones
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