Photographer captures images of Kansas fires

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – During the record setting fires in Kansas this past week, crews from surrounding communities lent their resources to help battle the flames.

“I have taken pictures at a lot of grass fires but none that big.”

Through the eyes of a firefighter.

“You look at the pictures and realize how much damage was done,” says Garry Brownlee.

Garry Brownlee shot these images of a fire that left more than 500,000 acres torched in Clark and Comanche counties.

“Our crews worked on one major fire line almost all night long. The fire line was approximately two and a half, three miles long. The wind was blowing terrible. It moved quick.”

The Mulvane Fire Department joined Sumner County fire and another crew to provide aid to local departments. Brownlee says during the 15 hours their crews were on scene, he witnessed the courage of firefighters. They were, in fact, fighting.

“They are just dedicated to what they do. They want to help. They want to help people. They just have a lot of guts. They have a lot of desire and passion for what they do. The fireman are unbelievable. They like that situation,” says Brownlee.

Another picture tells story of the people who own some of the land.

“They kept the out of town crews out of trouble,” says Brownlee.

He says they jumped in to help.

“They have skin in the game. It is their property, their livelihood.”

But Brownlee says what a picture can’t fully tell you is just how dangerous the elements were. Almost no visibility at times, debris in the air and high winds. He says it is a fire that won’t soon be forgotten.

“It doesn’t tell you how much black but there is everywhere how much stuff there is floating in the air. You really got to be there to experience it.”


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