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A Stunning Cinematic Trip to the Front Lines of California's Wildfires

Dec 12, 2017 | 831 videos
Video by Netflix

“I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I have never seen anything like this,” says a CAL FIRE crew member as he fights the Blue Cut fire in Los Angeles. “This is crazy fire behavior. Unbelievable.”

Netflix’s docu-series Fire Chasers embeds with firefighters at the front lines of the wildfires that continue to decimate California. In the video above, the crew fights a fast-moving fire that burned 60,000 acres in less than a day.

While their cameras bore witness, cinematographer Steve Holleran and his film crew were trapped as this particular fire “basically just blew up and split around us, and cut us off from being able to leave,” Holleran told The Atlantic. “We'd been told this was a safe zone. It all happened really fast. We went from shooting what appeared to be a normal fire event to a really dangerous one in a matter of a minute.”

According to Holleran, the crew was trapped for half an hour, encircled by scorching plumes of smoke and 100-foot flames. “That was our most dangerous moment on the show, for sure,” he said.

Watch the full episode streaming on Netflix.

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Author: Emily Buder

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.