About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view Kalalau123's profile
    Posted April 24, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

    More from Kalalau123

    Freight train speeds thru prairie fire


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Kalalau123, a photographer in Calgary, Alberta, was driving home Monday afternoon when he saw 'monster smoke.' He followed the smoke to a prairie fire near the Trans Canada Highway north of the city of Medicine Hat, and watched as a freight train raced through the flames. 'I thought the train would explode as the flames whipped over the engines,' he says. 'They sped up the engines and blew the horns as they went through the smoke, fire and vehicle crossings.' He used a Canon 5D Mark II with 105 mm lens to get these photos.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    It happened yesterday. It was an out of control prairie fire that burned for miles near Medicine Hat, Alberta.


    The Canadian Pacific freight train saw it but could not stop, indeed to stop would have seen the engines burn and it was carrying chemical cars as well.
    The engineer blasted the horns on the trains through the entire fire front which I estimate was about a mile wide and at times up to 30-40 feet in height and they prayed.
    They made it through. It would have made a dramatic video but I had no telephoto lens for my video camera.
    After the train passed the fire intensified in the long grass.
    Alberta set a 110 year old temperature record yesterday at 32 degrees Celcius at Medicine Hat.
    Snow is predicted this comnig Friday. We live in a land of extremes.

    I normally travel with a 150-500 mm telephoto, however I was on a photo shoot that required a 24-105 zoom, sorry I could not have gotten closer. I was about a mile away from the fire, which was close enough for me and rough terrain to cross to get closer.

    Add your Story Add your Story