Wahoo! I'm out running the SNG truck for our coverage of the Esperanza fire. Somehow I've missed most of the big fires this year (the Day Fire was appropriately named) and it feels good to be part of the front line coverage.
So far, I've only been upwind of the smoke and ash that's filling up a good chunk of the Riverside and San Bernardino skyline.
These days our coverage of fires reflect a legitimate concern for the safety of the news crews out in the field.
More than ever, the concern is that we all "be" safe while we're working. That's difficult sometimes to keep in mind. The job we do isn't completely without risks.
We might push the safety envelope to get video footage that helps us tell the story in a compelling way and I remember part of a quote by someone, "If you can't see the truth, you're not close enough."
I probably mangled that, but maybe you get the idea.
I've worked in this job long enough to have juuuuusssst enough experience to take a calculated risk every now and then for the sake of good video.
The flip side of that? I've also worked this job long enough to know that no amount of experience will always keep you safe.
As I write this post, four fire fighters are dead and a fifth is in critical condition.
I don't think they were taking any sort of extraordinary risks. As far as I know, they were just doing their job.
The fact that trained and experienced fire fighters were hurt and killed today scares me. It makes me stop to consider; how much do I really know? How safe am I really when I feel safe doing my job?
We tend to laugh and joke as we cover the news. We face tragic events and work under pressure, the laughter (even from inappropriate humor) that probably helps to keep us sane.
I don't think I'm going to joke much about this fire.
I'm just going to move back a little further and try not to think about just how dangerous it is out here, because I still have to go about doing my job.