Pushing deadline, I was heading to Cedar Rapids after covering the girls Mississippi Valley Conference indoor track and field championships at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. I got to the Urbana exit, about 26 miles from the office. I was planning on filling up the company car at the gas station but a giant orange/yellow glow off the the eastern distance caught my eye. This is the time of year for brush fires around here. Some callers said they could see the glow from as far as Brandon, about 10 miles away.
I decided the gasoline fill-up could wait and turned in the direction of the glowing sky. The map feature on my phone was invaluable in helping me navigate the gravel roads. It turned out the fire was a controlled burn supervised by the Walker Fire Department. I got some information from the fire chief on the scene. I shot some video with my phone and emailed it back to the office. I also shot frames with my Canon cameras. The video made the 10pm news on KCRG and page editors were able to find a color spot for the photo.