Elk Bath

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Elk Bath by John McColgan.

Elk Bath is an award-winning wildlife photograph by John McColgan, a fire behavior expert of the Alaskan Type I Incident Management Team. It was taken on August 6, 2000, on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River on the Sula Complex, Bitterroot National Forest, Montana, United States, and is also sometimes known by the title, Bitterroot Forest Fire or, more vaguely, Montana Fire. When NASA featured it in its online Astronomy Picture of the Day series, it titled it Fire on Earth.[1]

It was one of the Time magazine Photos of the Year 2000, and ran in its The Year in Pictures special edition in winter 2000/2001, and the web equivalent.[2]

McColgan took the picture with a Kodak DC280 digital camera[3] while standing on a bridge crossing over the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. Several other animals were present off frame, including a deer standing below McColgan as he took the picture.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (2000-11-21). "Fire on Earth". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  2. ^ "The year in pictures". Time.com. 2000. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  3. ^ "Most Famous Wildfire Photograph Ever Taken!". About.com. Retrieved 2008-02-19.