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The McDougall Creek wildfire in West Kelowna and its two smaller counterparts in Kelowna and Lake Country paralyzed the Central Okanagan in August.
And it wasn’t just locals gripped by the destructive fires, as they made international headlines over the course of several days.
While the news cycle has moved on several times since August, the McDougall Creek wildfire received a bit more international attention recently thanks to a photo from Darryl Dyck.
The Canadian Press photojournalist’s shot of the McDougall Creek wildfire from the early hours of Friday, Aug. 18, was named one of Time magazine’s top 100 photos of 2023.
The 100 photos selected are unranked, but Dyck’s incredible shot of the burning hillside above West Kelowna homes is the magazine’s lead photo for the annual feature.
“Flames from the McDougall Creek wildfire encircle a mountainside above homes in West Kelowna, British Columbia, on Aug. 18,” reads the Time description.
“Extreme weather conditions fueled Canada's worst wildfire season on record, with thousands of fires devastating millions of acres and darkening skies thousands of miles away.”
Time’s director of photography, Katherine Pomerantz says it’s become clear in 2023, a year dominated by the rapid rise of AI, that photojournalism has become more important than ever.
“The storytellers who are dedicated to bearing witness to events across the globe in real time are critical in providing lucidity to an otherwise muddled world,” she said.
“As such, the weight of responsibility on them to act ethically, and with the highest level of journalistic integrity, is greater now than perhaps ever in history.”
Click this link to see the entire list of Time’s top 100 photos of 2023.