California Burning: Solutions To California's Wildfire Problem

7 p.m. Sept 30 - Oct 4 (Mon-Fri)

Natural disasters are increasing across the nation. In the West, these disasters often come in the form of wildfire, and perhaps no state understands the true cost of wildfire like California.

The Golden State has always had forest fires, but they’re progressively becoming harder to control and more deadly. At the same time, the state’s population has surpassed 40 million, pushing people further into wild spaces that have been adapted to fire. California Burning takes a critical look at how the state’s fire-prone forests have been managed and examines how we can all be better stewards of the land and avoid catastrophic wildfires in the future.

Produced by Matt Fidler, Sarah Bohannon and Gregg McVicar.

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

 

James Lewis

 

Smokey Bear is arguably the most effective advertising campaign in American history—but Smokey’s message created a fear in many of us that’s led to a misunderstanding of fire.

In this first episode of California Burning, we explore what Smokey got wrong, and we learn how a series of unprecedented wildfires in the early twentieth-century started forest management policies that have contributed to the catastrophic wildfires we’re experiencing today.

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.

California Burning: Episode 3—One Foot In The Black

Sep 29, 2019
Matt Fidler

Fire behavior is complicated, but can often be predicted. On the third episode of California Burning, we dive into the science of fire by visiting a wildland fire lab and a sustainable timber operation. We also hear from firefighters, forest rangers, and the “Helltown Hotshots” who risked it all to save their town during the Camp Fire.

Matt Fidler

 

Wildfires are no longer isolated to our forests in California. They now also threaten our cities. On the fourth episode of California Burning, we focus on where urban and wild spaces meet and hear from people who have experienced some of the most tragic fires in California’s history.

Matt Fidler

 

How can we address all the different factors associated with the wildfires plaguing California? On the fifth and final episode of California Burning, we seek solutions. We learn about alternative building materials that can withstand fire, and we go to a fire-resistant house that was the only in its neighborhood to survive the 2018 Carr Fire.  

Natural disasters are increasing across the nation. In the West, these disasters often come in the form of wildfire, and perhaps no state understands the true cost of wildfire as California. While the Golden State has always had forest fires, these conflagrations are progressively becoming harder to control and more deadly. At the same time, California’s population has surpassed 40 million, pushing people further into wild spaces that have been adapted to fire.