Keith Moreau and Sam Ellis Moreau, filmmakers in Brisbane, California, found themselves in the midst of one of the worst fires on San Bruno Mountain in decades. They managed to get some footage close to the fire before having to evacuate, as they also lived on one of the streets adjacent to the mountain.
Not knowing if they would see their house or possessions again, they packed up their film gear, their 2 dogs, and went to an nearby hill and continued to film the burning mountain. They were able to return home just after midnight.
Keith, Sam and the rest of the residents of Brisbane were lucky. The winds were unusually calm that night, the air was moist and cool, but 100-foot flames could still be seen soaring up from the wildfire.
Firefighters for Brisbane, local towns and the California Department of Forestry created backfires and were fortunate enough to have a lone water-bearing helicopter at dusk to help hold the fire line. At that moment over 800 other wildfires were raging across California, taxing firefighting resources to the limit.
In the next days, Sam and Keith hiked and filmed across the mountain. Captured in this film are few moments of what they saw in the mountain's Buckeye and Owl canyons, including a unique sighting of some of the surviving Callippe Silverspot Butterflies, the Mountain's endangered species, that were lucky enough to have survived the fire.