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One of the benefits of Instagram’s pervasiveness is that the public gets unprecedented access to big news events — like the forest fires currently sweeping the country.
For the past 13 years, Mike Gue has been a wildland firefighter with the United States Forest Service and he’s seen some of the country’s largest and most intense fires. He’s also taken pictures while fighting them. Recently, he’s been sharing some of his work on Instagram, creating a feed that’s full of jaw-dropping fire photos.
“Initially I started shooting so I could send my wife pictures and she could share them with my young boys,” says Gue, who lives with his family in Bozeman, Montana. “It was a way to stay connected and it made me feel a little better when I was gone 14 days at a time.”
Eventually, outsiders started seeing the photos and encouraged Gue to share them. He started an Instagram account,@young_men_and_fire(borrowed from the book by the same name by Norman Maclean) and within days he had several hundred followers.