Friday, October 03, 2008


There is nothing like covering a large fire from the air. They are visual, they can be compelling and down right intoxicating. I have had two such fires in recent weeks.

The first was of an old soon to be renovated mental hospital in New Westminster, BC. The day was calm and clear and the fire provided a welcome break in the summertime "blahs" that had set in. I seem to remember getting the call from my desk just after lunch. A 2 alarm fire being upgraded to a 3 as we launched into the air. A cross street address was not needed as the smoke plume was visible from our hanger.
A shot out my window of CTV Chopper 9 over the Old Hospital as it burns
Off we went, heading straight to the plume. Flames were jumping skyward hundreds of feet. It was a big one. The complex was a large one and as fire fighters tried to battle the blaze, the flames continued to find new fuel and eventually spread to it's outer wings. Before long, the entire complex was a blaze.

Another look of the Fire scene in New Westminster earlier this summer

It was a spectacular sight. The heat was immense. Even at 1700ft we found ourselves dodging the odd piece of flaming debris. I managed to bang off a few shots on my Nikon between hits.

When it was over the blaze took most of the old complex.

This week yielded another BIG FIRE. This one in Surrey. A condo development as it was nearing completion. Again, the call from the desk. Again a plume that could be seen for miles.

The tell tail plume of smoke as we leave YVR. Frame grab CTV CHOPPER 9

No need for further directions. When we arrived it was fully involved. Aircraft buzzed around. To get the whole story on this one follow this link BIG FIRE

Frame grab from my FLIR Camera as we appoach the scene

Fire crews pour water over the inferno. Frame grab CTV Chopper 9

Close up shot of the heavy lift crane operator's cab as it bursts into flame. There were no injuries.

Wide shot of the complex as Phase II of the project burns to the ground.


Jack Zhang said...

Global claimed the were the first to spot it in Global One (AKA AM730 traffic). Don't know if that claim holds...

I smelled smoke all the way from South Burnaby of this fire and the smell lasted for quite a while (right into the evening hours).

Jack Zhang

Murman said...

Hi Jack

Global was already i the air when the fire broke out doing their traffic thing.
I got the call from our desk shortly before 4 PM and we were in the air with in 5 minutes.

It was a spactacular fire and I am just glad no body was hurt.
Thanks for rading and thnaks for watching!

turdpolisher said...

great shots dood.

Anonymous said...

Great shots. Has Chopper 9 received the HD upgrade yet on the Flir camera yet?

Murman said...

Not as of yet. Everything is on hold because of the state of the economy.