A poetic light on the heroic act

China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-20 15:17
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Firefighters eat pot noodles as their breakfast in the morning, April 4.[Photo by Cheng Xueli/For China Daily]

The first time I saw Wang Shunhua this year was at the scene of fire in Muli county, Southwest China's Sichuan province. It was early in the morning on March 31, and the

Xichang unit of Sichuan Liangshan Forest Fire Brigade was about to break through the line of fire. At the time, I was taking pictures, and Wang patted me on the shoulder twice from behind.

We have known each other for eight years. We grew up near the border in Yunnan province. It was when we were 18 or 19 years old that we came to the Liangshan prefecture in Sichuan province, and served in the Forest Brigade of the Xichang Armed Police. It was later renamed Xichang Forest Fire Brigade. Wang looks fit and sunburned with shinny and bronze skin. His Yi ethnic heritage endows him with big round eyes and sturdy physique. I admire him for always being able to cross the heaviest thing in life with the most lightsome pace, but when he is quiet at night, he silently bears everything that life has imposed on him, and still maintains his principle and integrity.

The fire in Muli county on March 30 took away our 27 brothers. Since then, Wang has been particularly sensitive to the smoke and fire in Liangshan. In a slightly similar environment, he will be reminiscent of the people and things he once had. As for me, I always rebuild old memories in a new environment. Since last year, the number of times I have pressed the shutter has gradually decreased. Most of the time I was adjusting my relationship, distance and angle with my friends, the forests and the mountains. I tried to go deep into the mountains at night to record the corners that no one has ever seen.

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