California Burning: Episode 2—Native Intelligence

Sep 29, 2019

Klamath River, a part of the Yurok Reservation.
Credit Matt Fidler

Native Californians used fire to maintain the forests that surrounded them for more than 14,000 years. This prevented future wildfires and supported many plants and animals that need fire to thrive. On the second episode of California Burning, Matt shadows a pyrogeographer and learns how the Yurok Tribe on the Klamath River and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Santa Cruz are bringing fire back to the land.

"When we put fire on the land, there's something about it that just, it speaks to your spirit. It's like you connect with it and you connect on a deeper level with the land." —Margo Robbins
From L-R, Professor of Pyrogeography Don Hankins and President of the Cultural Fire Management Council Margo Robbins.
Credit Matt Fidler

Featuring President of the Cultural Fire Managment Council, Margo Robbins; Chico State Professor of Pyrogeography, Don Hankins; and Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Valentin Lopez. 

Full transcripts of this episode, photos and links at All episodes also available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.