Career firefighter captures the drama of wildfires |

Career firefighter captures the drama of wildfires

Wes Schultz, a career firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), Arden Fire District and Sacramento Metro Fire Department, has been taking photos of wildfires and firefighting for over 15 years.

At the July 28 meeting of the Nevada County Camera Club — 6:30-9 p.m. at Unity in the Gold Country Spiritual Center, 180 Cambridge Court, Grass Valley — Schultz will highlight the lessons he has learned about shooting the dramatic photos of men and women working to quell the flames.

“It is not just about the fire, but about people and their role in fire suppression – often a hot, dirty, exhausting job. Most of my images have a firefighter in them some place; the fire or emergency is secondary,” Schultz said.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Schultz’s first job with CDF was in “downtown Weed, California, when the only safety equipment CDF issued was a tin hat and the rest was up to you. That was in the summer of 1966 and the start of my life in the fire service,” Schultz said.

Before he retired, Schultz began carrying a camera in his duty vehicle taking pictures at emergencies. He entered his photos in contests, fairs and art shows, and started to win awards and favorable comments.

“Over the last several years, I have won national, state, local and fire service awards for my photographs,” he said. “Several images were used by National Geographic for one of their videos and some have been published in magazines and really great books on wildfire firefighting.”

Schultz currently volunteers for CalFire and Sac Metro Fire as a photographer and has volunteered for the US Forest Service and California Office of Emergency Services.

During the second half of the meeting, camera club members will showcase their photos while judges critique the submissions to help improve their photography. Categories for submitted photos include: Black and White; Color; Nature-Landscapes; Nature – Wildlife; Travel; Technical; Photojournalism; and the monthly feature.

The public is welcome and there is no cost for first time guests. for more information, email Nevada County Camera Club Publicity and Advertising chair Barbara Summer at Visit for samples of Schultz’s work.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User