Reuters photographer Rick Wilking put together a retrospective of the Waldo Canyon fire using radio calls, his own photography, and interviews with residents.
It addresses some of the concerns that emerged from the fire’s start–the search for the fire on June 23, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher who failed to pass on some potentially vital information–and talks to residents about the night their homes burned.
Wilking explains his project in the post, and he has an interesting (and different) perspective as a national reporter who lives in the area. He brings up an interesting point–big disasters like the Waldo Canyon fire attract media attention from all over the globe. As the fire became more serious, I remember seeing more and more photographers and reporters thronging the media briefings. The drama lasts for a few more days, or weeks, then dies away–and the reporters dissipate as well.
I have often wondered, do residents feel preyed upon by the media during a disaster? Yes, I think some do. The question is: Do people find it valuable when we stick around to tell their stories?