2021 LAFD Photo of the Year

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Helicopter dropping water over a brush fire
Winning photo by Rick McClure

A powerful photograph captures both the eye and the imagination. It speaks to one moment in time, capturing a scene and communicating it in a way no words can match.

In December, the 2nd Annual LAFD Photo of the Year contest invited professional photographers to submit their best work, to be voted on by the public. The contest showcased 19 images, each uniquely depicting the LAFD, and the voters made their choice.


1st Place: Rick McClure  (picture at top)

Date: 9.11.21

Incident: Brush fire along I5 near Castaic

Having served over 38 years on the LAFD before retiring, Rick has extensive experience fighting fires but has even more photographing them. What started as a hobby  50 years ago, turned into a life-long passion. His winning photo captured Fire 5 helicopter assisting Los Angeles County Fire Department with a water drop at a brush fire along Interstate 5 near Castaic.

Fire engine driving up road with brush fire on the hillside to the left

2nd Place: Jake Asner

Date: 9.2.21

Incident: Caldor Fire

Jake’s winning photo highlighted E75, which serves the community of Mission Hills, while on deployment to the Caldor Fire in El Dorado and Amador counties. This massive brush fire, in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, ultimately destroyed over 221,000 acres over a two month period. That equates to 347 square miles, closely approaching a footprint the size of the City of Los Angeles.


Two firefighters ascending aerial ladder with fire ranging in the back

3rd Place: Korey Cuico

Date: 1.20.21

Incident: Commercial structure fire

Korey’s photo captures an iconic firefighting image, ascending the aerial ladder with fire ablaze in the background. This Major Emergency had 160 firefighters working not only to extinguish the fire but to prevent the blaze from damaging the adjacent three story building. Their efforts paid off and this photo captures the intensity of that fight.

Each of the winners will receive a 'swag bag' from the LAFD Foundation, a challenge coin from the Fire Chief and a feature in the Grapevine Magazine, published by the LA Fireman's Relief Association. 

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