STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — As residents and firefighters tried to save homes from a massive brush fire in Glendora Thursday, CBS2/KCAL9 photojournalist J.R. Hall captured their efforts on the frontline.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colby Fire

“For a lot of people who were coming out…well…first responders and media are always going in,” Hall said.

Hall used a self-contained, wireless, portable news-gathering unit called Dejero, which allowed him to broadcast the story in real-time, untethered from a television news van.

“The pictures were pretty powerful, I have to admit,” Hall said.

At times, Hall said he struggled with what was unfolding in front of him.

“It was so intense and so thick that my lungs were filling, I was coughing,” he said.

KCAL9’s Melanie Woodrow said experiencing the fire through the viewfinder helped Hall focus.

“Thank goodness sometimes it’s in black and white and not color because it’d be a little bit scarier if it was in color to see all that fire,” Hall said. “I’ve worked in some dangerous and hostile environments all around the world for CBS and this was right up there, it was pretty scary.”

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