“The feeling is unreal.”
That’s how Jason Gendron described the sight of a wildfire burning as northern lights flashed across the sky at a spot about 40 minutes south of Whitehorse, Yukon on Tuesday night.
“You’re sitting there, there’s complete silence, complete darkness and you’re watching this unfold in front of your eyes,” the photographer told Global News.
Coverage of wildfires on Globalnews.ca:
Gendron, who lives in Whitehorse, doesn’t make his living snapping shots. The sporting goods store manager takes photos as a hobby, and he put plenty of work into capturing this spectacular time-lapse.
The Windy Arm fire, which was sparked by lightning on Aug. 6, has been burning about 12 km southeast of Carcross ever since, according to CHON FM 98.1.
Gendron had noticed that the aurora forecast for Tuesday night looked promising, so he packed up his equipment and arrived at the spot at about 10:30 p.m.
He started taking pictures, but with the moon still in the sky, it was too bright to see the northern lights.
So he waited three hours for the moon to set behind the mountain.
He took a few shots, but none were what he was after.
So he tried a time-lapse, taking 38 minutes of individual shots to make a sequence that was eight seconds long.
“I knew if I took a time-lapse, I could see flareups,” Gendron said.
The result was a stunning series of images that came amid an active wildfire season up and down the West Coast of North America.
“I knew what it was going to look like on the camera,” Gendron said.
“But as well as seeing it in front of me, it was pretty amazing.”