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Wildfires! – Photographs by Thomas Haney

Australia and Russia have small wildland firefighting forces, but the real epicenter is the western United States. The combination of vast evergreen forests, hot, dry summers and plenty of lightning results in millions of acres burned every year and hundreds of homes lost, and the length and intensity of fire seasons is expected to continue increasing as the West becomes hotter and drier in the coming years. The effort to combat these blazes employs tens of thousands of people doing everything from providing mobile meals and shows, to dropping water from helicopters and working on the ground in the frontline of the fires.

Thomas Haney has been a wildland firefighter for 5 years, and he gives a first-hand account of his experiences. If you are interested in publishing this story, please contact us for further details.

Photos Thomas Haney / stevebloom.com

A Swallowtail Butterfly lands on a firefighter tackling a wildfire (member of Carson Hotshots team), Southern California, June 2009
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A member of the Wolf Creek Hotshot Crew watches fire run up a grassy slope on the Brown Road Fire, Oregon, USA, July 2011
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The sun shines through smoke on a wildfire on the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, USA
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A tanker drops its load of fire retardant on the Brown Road fire in Northern Oregon, 2011
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A member of the Wolf Creek Hotshot Crew pounds out an ember the morning after a long night shift on a wildfire in central Arizona.
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Two members of the Wolf Creek Hotshot Crew warm up next to a burning Juniper stump the morning after a long night shift, New Mexico
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Black smoke from torching Black Spruce trees blocks the sun on the Hastings Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska, July 2011
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Fire races through the canopies of black spruce trees on the Hastings Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska, July 2011
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Bulldozers pass the photographer on the Hastings Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska, July 2011.
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A massive fire plume engulfs everything as it moves through black spruce trees on the Hastings Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska in 2011.
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The nighttime forest is illuminated by wildfire on the Miller Fire in New Mexico.
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A juniper tree catches fire and is engulfed within seconds on the Miller Fire, Gila Wilderness, New Mexico
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Torching juniper trees send embers high into the sky during a night burn in New Mexico, 2011
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Wolf Creek Hotshot crew stops work to watch as a huge tanker drops a load of retardant on the Wildcat Fire, Nevada, 2011
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