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Blue Dot 232: NATURE'S RESILIENCE ON DISPLAY -- A post-Dixie Fire trip through Lassen Volcanic National Park

Dave Schlom

Dave and producer Matt Fidler were the first two journalists allowed into Lassen Volcanic National Park after the Dixie Fire, the largest single fire in California history, burned through a large swath of the park in August 2021.

Dave has been visiting the park and serving as a volunteer there for decades and both he and Matt have spent many a happy time camping at Juniper Lake with its Tahoe blue waters lapping right up to the campground.

Joined by Ranger Kevin Sweeney, Fire Operations Officer Mike Klimek, and pyrogeographer Zeke Lunder, the team spent a day investigating the fire's impacts at Juniper Lake and the Drakesbad/Warner Valley area outside of Chester, CA.

Jake Early

On the following day, Dave and Ranger Sweeney drove the then-closed park road, Highway 89 to view the iconic views of one of California's crown jewels. Dave also visits Mill Creek Resort and chats with one of the owners and takes a hike in a forested area that is verdant and intact just a few miles from the burn zone.

Contrary to what some major media outlets had reported, rumors of utter destruction in the park were at times greatly exaggerated. 

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.