A cameraman went from covering the firefighting effort in San Diego County to being covered by it this week when a DC-10 supertanker drenched his equipment in fire retardant.
Video posted by San Diego news station KUSI on YouTube shows the tanker flying directly over the photographer’s head Wednesday and dropping a wave of the red liquid on him, his camera and his car.
The photographer was in San Marcos following firefighters’ efforts to stop the Cocos fire, which has burned 1,200 acres and is just 10% contained. The supertankers help set up defensive positions for firefighters by drenching potential fuel in fire-resistant material while helicopters carrying water are typically used in direct attacks on the flames.
Firefighters there have increased their air attack, with aircraft from the military and county Sheriff's Department. Officials said evacuation notices covering 13,000 San Marcos homes and businesses had been issued.
The largest current fire, covering 6,300 acres, erupted Wednesday at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook next to Camp Pendleton.
In Carlsbad, however, firefighters had fully contained the Poinsettia fire by mid-morning Friday.
Arson and bomb investigators were looking into what caused the devastating San Diego County wildfires, several of which burned close to roads, officials confirmed Thursday.