Described by one viewer as “beautiful and yet intensely scary and powerful,” a photo capturing the Big Dipper, an aurora and the glowing Shovel Lake wildfire all at once is bringing both shock and awe.
Photographer David Luggi, who lives in Fraser Lake, was able to use a 30-second exposure to capture the trifecta just after midnight Friday.
“I’m standing on the southern shore of Fraser Lake, at White Swan park, and the winds are favourable so I was able to see the fire and the smoke and fortunately clear enough that the Big Dipper was captured in it as well,” he said.
Luggi, who’s been documenting the wildfire over recent weeks, was originally planning to get a night-photo of the Island Lake fire burning to the south, but winds weren’t working in his favour. Luggi admitted it’s quite an incredible photo given the three weeks of haze that has blanketed his community.
“I haven’t seen the stars in so many days,” he said. “Capturing the devastation here, as sad as it is, I think it’s almost the perfect shots.”
The photo has since been making waves online, reaching 2,500 shares since being posted Saturday morning.
“Sad about the fire, But man, This is A Great photo,” one person commented.
“Beauty within a horrible situation,” said another.
The wildfire, burning about 78,000 hectares in size between Fort St. James and Fraser Lake has been the cause of much despair and angst for hundreds of people who live in the communities nearby.
|Some of the photos in recent weeks shot of wildfires near Fraser Lake, shot by David Luggi.|
Luggi and his family’s home is about one kilometre outside of the area in the village that has been ordered to evacuate.
“No doubt there’s a lot of anxiety here, but at the same time I think we’re kind of getting used to it,” he said.
“I think we’re beginning to realize this is the new normal, and the reason I say that is because the mountain pine beetle that has killed a lot of the trees here over the last 20 years has come to a point it’s been standing for 10 to 15 years longer and is dried up and ready to burn in a situation like this.”
Dealing with the unknown predictably will lead to the concern many local residents have, Luggi said, but the communication from officials has helped ease some of the anxiety.
“Everybody is kind of getting used to process it and understanding how the information is being relayed.”