Last Night @leroygrafe, @kyledickman83 , and I got a front-row seat to the destruction we’ve been warned about for the last eight months. The Arrowhead Hotshots and many others were tasked with burning off the General’s Highway in an attempt to stop the main KNP Complex fire from jumping the road and threatening the park’s most famous trees. They’d spent the last two nights running fire from the road down into Redwood Canyon, which is home to hundreds and maybe thousands of giant sequoias.
The goal, here, is to send smaller flames on the ground toward the giant wall of flames in hopes that the smaller, cooler fire will rob the bigger angrier one of its fuel. The hotshot crew used drones with infrared cameras, advanced mapping technology, and lots of human power to lay down what looked like the largest wildfire I’d ever seen, all in an attempt to stop one of the mega fires that have emerged in the last handful of years to threaten the very existence of the world’s last giant sequoias.
The species is supposed to be flame resistant, fire adapted, with two-foot thick bark and branches that tower over the flames that they require just to open their cones and seed the next generation. But that was then. This is the new normal. Last night we witnessed a thousand-year old sequoia torch from roots to canopy and then collapse a couple of hours later.
Ultimately the firefighters saved many sequoias last night by getting moderate fire among their bases without destroying the upper canopies. But even with the most advanced technology and many decades of experience, they were no match for the advancing wall of flames. Around 7AM, the main fire made an unusual run. Unusual because it was early in the morning when the winds tend to be calm and the air cool. Maybe the wind shifted. Maybe an inversion lifted. In any event, the main fire swallowed the back burn, climbed into the canopies and ran as a crown fire sending spots well over the General’s Highway.
Fire crews are now taking stock and figuring out how to battle the blaze even closer to the Avenue of the Giants, Grant Grove, and their own hotshot base, The Swale, deep inside Sequoia National Park.
We had such a nice time in Alaska. It’s so rare to catch an intersecting window of good weather, good snow, and good people.
Really excited to share some of Polo Ralph Lauren's holiday campaign. @Ryanheff7 and I directed this one last August on a week's notice, just before disappearing into the Gila for elk season. It came together beautifully. Thanks to Polo and the Meyers family for the trust and heavy lift on the production side and to DPs @LeroyGrafe and @KahlilHudson for nailing it all day long. Love you guys.
When I left my editing joby at Outside, it felt like I'd never get to work on another print project that mattered. But then Yeti decided to put the full weight and resources of the company behind a series of narrowly focused high-end photo books. I'm told that all 147 of the world's serious sheep hunters now have their copies of this book. Which means that in order for the other 5,000 to sell, we're relying on people who just want to take a joyride into a world they've never entered. That's how it is for me. I put in for one of New Mexico's handful of bighorn tags every year hoping that this is the year my 1 in 82 chance pans out. But until then, it's been an amazing ride working with @fossman8, his lovely partner in crime @mtbound, and the crew at Yeti to produce such a beautiful piece of work in a time when people keep saying that print is dead. XOXO crew! Let's do another!
Contributors: @wildsheepfoundation @ryanheff7 @tbjohns @samaverett @jaybeyerimaging @cabraam @paulbridephotography @huntphotos @paulcolangelo @austincoit @stevendrakephoto @darrynepp @davidframephoto @talongillis @steven_gnam @rockhousemotion @aaronhitchins @implementproductions @alanklassen22 @nmarchiando @bencmasters @jmenk @gameoverig @isaac_nelson @zionhuntnz @seacatcreative @westseacat @evaholland @krista_lee_langlois @elliottwoods @timshinabargerart @avorisek @gray.thornton @keithbalfourd @midnightsunoutfitting
We’re so honored to share the story of New Mexico sprint car driver Joshua Jackson. Josh was on his way to NASCAR when he suffered a horrific sprint car accident in Las Cruces. He flatlined twice in the helicopter. We wanted to explore what it means to come back from such a severe injury and how it affected the people who love and care for Josh. Thanks to @Yeti for making this one possible. You can find the complete film at www.Yeti.com/films
The sky made a fist and reached toward the earth.
The tornadoes have been in lockdown mode, too, this spring. I just told my friend @kyledickman83 that there’s a tornado drought on, and he reminded me that the residents of the Great Plains probably don’t miss them much.
We’re on the hunt, though, 7,000 miles and counting for our next @yeti project. @pecoshank has picked all the right storms—like this surreal mothership over central Texas a couple of weeks ago—and put us underneath a dozen spinning, descending wall clouds. 🌪
When I wrote about storm chasers for Outside in the wake of some high-profile chaser deaths in the 2013 El Reno tornado, I expected to find a bunch of adrenaline junkies risking life and limb in order to see flying cows and general mayhem. Couldn’t have been more wrong on this point. It’s much more like a Dungeons and Dragons convention of meteorology enthusiasts. 🌪
Standing under one of these storms is like standing in front of the Grand Canyon or Everest. You feel small, insignificant, and in awe. In times like these, it’s comforting to see that there are larger forces at play that we have no control over. As @pecoshank says, it’s the closest you can get to standing on Jupiter. And we all need to make it to Jupiter every once in a while.
Out hunting a different kind of big game in the Texas panhandle with the lovey Pecos Hank.
Worst snow in 50 years! Thanks for the “athlete” edit, @thomaswoodson. This trip was sicker than the Diamond Princess. ❤️😷⛷
One last frame from @fikapatagonia, this one from the movie camera. Hard to overstate how beautiful the land and people are in this part of the world. @NgKelley spent ten years developing sources and access to the gauchos and estanciaas in this part of the world. He had a beautiful photo essay with @asorzana and many of the characters from this film in @modernhuntsman a couple of issues ago. LINK STILL IN BIO.