It’s a given.  Our job as news photographers is to cover news both good and bad.  It’s what we do; what we are good at.  I would stink at selling real estate, building furniture  (the wood bowl I made in high school wood shop didn’t look anything like a bowl) or anything that takes more than a few minutes to master.  This is not to say I don’t have other talents.

Does fishing count?

It’s been a busy fire season.   I’ve a special room in which to change out of my fire duds -the garage- before stepping foot in the house.  My dog, who is endlessly curious about the odors I bring home on a daily basis is there to give me the once over.  He gets carried away normally, so I must bribe him with a treat to cease and desist.  Slobberhead has me well trained, I think.

October is a bad month around these parts.  Offshore winds pick up and everything dries out exponentially, exacerbating fire danger.  If you give brush a cross look, it will ignite it seems. Lake County has been seared this summer with intense large fires.  If you drive on Highway 20 from Highway 16 towards Clear Lake, it’s a black swath most of the way.  I’m not kidding.

Thursday  (Oct. 18) night was no exception.  A brushfire started and roared up a canyon in to the Murphy Springs Subdivision off Highway 29 about three miles south of Lower Lake.  At least one home, nearly two dozen cars and out buildings were destroyed. By the time I arrived on scene it was nearly dark.  Night fires make interesting images.  After, I drove back to Santa Rosa. What did I see driving back?  I followed a car who’s driver threw at least three lit cigarettes out on the side of the road in to the brush.

Really?

Cal Fire personnel Jessica Lee, left and Alex Mikesell watch over a burning snag on the edge of a 300 acre wild land fire near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012. The fire burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Firefighters check a burning snag near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012, during a blaze that burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A Cal Fire air tanker makes the last retardant drop of the day near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012., during a fire that burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A United States Forest Service firefighter keeps a the fire line in check near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012, in which a blaze burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A Cal Fire battalion chief drives through a burned out area near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012, during a fire that burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A Cal Fire air tanker makes a pass prior to the last retardant drop of the day near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012., during a fire that burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

At the top of rise in thick timber structures burn to the ground during a 300 acre wildland fire near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012. The fire burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A strike team of engines roll to a fire near Lower Lake, Thursday Oct 18, 2012, in which a blaze burned at least one home and several outbuildings after it started along Highway 29 in Lake County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012-

-Kent Porter