Today, I went for a walk instead of staying inside for lunch. I have posted before about my lunch time walks in the Assiniboine Forest and it’s still a pleasure.


So, today I decided to take some small paths, far away from the people and see what I could find, photographically. After about 30 minutes walking I smelled

smoke. Since the forest is inside the city I assumed that this smoke was coming from some barbecue and didn’t pay more attention to it. It only lasted a few seconds. Continuing the walk, a few minutes later the smoke smell was back, stronger this time.

Since I was alone on this small path, with nobody around I found it a bit unnerving, to say the least. I decided to go back to the bigger paths and see what was going on. That’s where I was greeted with the view from the lead picture.

Obviously, I was not going to pass up on an opportunity to take pictures of a fire up close. I have had another fire earlier this year, but this one was in the forest; the smell of smoke was quite different.


When I got a little closer, the side of the path was black and still smoking. Hmmm, not the best view in town. Even more so when I noticed that the fire was still burning, unchecked. I expected to see firemen all over the place, cordoning off the area, but no, nothing of the kind.


Firemen were there, but they seemed to be without water supply and fighting the fire with brooms. That made me think that even if there was a lot of smoke, the fire mustn’t be that dangerous. I went a little closer. No firemen were pushing me away and I even asked one of them if they knew what started it.


The answer was “Probably a cigarette…” I knew that smoking was bad for the smoker’s health, but this made it also dangerous for other people’s health!

Still burningStill burning

Looking around, there was low fire burning everywhere. The fire was classified as a “Grass fire”. Ok, I guess we have to count in the dead trees with the grass, because those were burning pretty well too.

Fighting fire with a broomFighting fire with a broom

Following the firemen a bit closer to the heavy smoke, that smoke started to burn my eyes, and I was surprised (like I said) to see them with brooms. In fact those brooms were to clear the old leaves and burning ashes and to sweep them back in the fire. That way the fire would not cross the path.

Firing upFlames firing up

Brooms and leaf-blowers were the only tools, I didn’t see any hoses and water. Overhearing a conversation between two firemen, I heard that the fire had gone around them, unchecked. And yes, the fire was way behind me as well. No high flames, but slowly burning away all the dry grass on the ground.

Leaf-blowing the fireLeaf-blowing the fire

All that grass does give off a lot of smoke and some places burn higher than the average grass blades. As you can see in the foreground of this picture, that grass is tall and dry. An excellent fuel for a great fire.

Burning leavesBurning leaves

Another danger with this fire was that there were lots of dry leaves still lying on the ground from last year. All those leaves could easily start to burn and fly away, igniting other parts of the forest, far away. Leaf-blowers and brooms were used to keep them in check.


Then I decided to go home, my lunch time being over and still without food in the stomach, I crossed these newly arriving firemen, armed with hoses and… brooms!

Once I was out of the forest, the water tank trucks arrived and the dousing of the fire had begun. But the fire put up a fight, it lasted for several hours before the fire was mastered.

All that for a quiet lunch hour!

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8 days 12 hours

Thanks :) !

8 days 15 hours

---Very nice Blog Henk - some nice shots there...-:)

13 days 8 hours

Presets can speed up your workflow a lot, provided you have plenty of the same type of pictures. People doing weddings will a ...

13 days 8 hours

Hi, I hadn't noticed that the typing colour was that dark... changed it to pure white, that should do it ... Henk

13 days 10 hours

I certainly agree the use of presets will discourage people learning their own methods but they can offer a shortcut to fulfi ...

1 month 3 days

Well, I was told so by a "pro" that later recanted... :-) I removed the name, so at least it is now correct.

josie brendle
1 month 4 days

nice blog but sorry the horses are not Clydesdales. Those are a little bigger. :)

1 month 5 days

Test comment here

Henk Von Pickartz
1 month 5 days

This is a comment. I will see if this works or if this will be taken over by spammers. If so, then I will take it down again.