We’ve been keeping a close eye on the wildfires raging in Colorado.

This is for a couple reasons. First and foremost, we like to know what’s happening in the ‘fire world.’ We have a big network of Firefighters and we work to stay in tune with what’s going on in their professional worlds. It’s part of the whole ‘understanding your profession’ promise. The better we know you and what you are up against, the better we can support you.

So, we’ve been watching. Updating our ‘Thank You Firefighters’ twitter account with updates on the multiple fires raging across the country and the brave men and women out there fighting them- even as their own homes burn down.

It’s personal for us. We work with these firefighters.

This week, it got even more personal.

One of our service centers is in Colorado Springs.

As those of you in the area, or following the fires, know: The Waldo Canyon Fire is getting close to the Colorado Springs area. As it moves towards homes, fanned by heat and dry conditions, some Colorado Springs residents are being evacuated from their homes.

Our employees included.

This is the view from our service center:

Here in Kansas City, we know a thing or two about seasonal extreme weather.

Tornadoes? Raised with ’em. Ice storms? Sheltered ’em. Snow storm? Expect ’em.

But fires?! Wayyy out of our comfort zone.

So as we’ve followed the fires, some of the issues surrounding them are completely foreign to us.

For example: Media coverage of active wildfires.

If you can’t tell by now, I like to read Fire blogs. I’m a total social media nerd.

And a LOT of the Fire bloggers are not happy with the media stations in the areas surrounding these fires.

Why?

Because of pictures like this.

Some media stations are running footage–especially footage captured from the air–of actively burning homes.

The major risk? That families will find out that their home-their memories-have burned to the ground by watching the news.

Now, this is a complicated issue.

As a journalist by training, I know that whatever you shoot from the air is (legally speaking) usually fair game.

But what about ethically? Do people deserve to be alerted about the fate of their homes BEFORE they see the emotional footage on air? Can you imagine turning on the news after dinner, only to see your house engulfed in flames?

I can’t imagine.

So, we’re asking you. Where do you fall on this side of the debate? To air or not to air?

And of course, our thoughts go out to ALL of those affected–nationwide–by this devastating wildfire season. Please keep the safety of our firefighters in your thoughts, along with all of those displaced by these fires.

 

 

 Update:

Here is a new series of pictures, showing the effect the wind changing has…

 

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