With a fire like Thomas that looks so close to town but is stubbornly parked in the steep front country, reporters rely on public information officers for news on the fly. Mike Eliason not only serves as a spokesperson for Santa Barbara County Fire — along with Captain David Zaniboni, Eliason explained, “We’re kind of a one-two punch” — but he tweets photos of striking beauty (see @EliasonMike). And he has the training to be in the heat of the action. In one capacity or another, Eliason counts 32 years of fire experience, starting with rolling hose for Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District as a reserve firefighter. The first large vegetation fire he photographed was the 1985 Wheeler Fire near Ojai. Of his vivid images and videos, Eliason said, “I’m doing what I can to show everybody the incredible and difficult work the firefighters do.”
Mike Eliason being interviewed by KEYT's John Palminteri
On the Fire Line
Thursday, December 21, 2017
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