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The Burning Issue: America’s War on Fire


Photo by (cc) Flickr user Lotus R

This year it made major news, but every summer wildfires torch thousands of acres of land. The National Forest Service rushes to the rescue; to save lives, homes, and communities. But is the agency’s approach to fire doing more harm than good? On this edition, producer George Lavender takes a closer look at the “War on Fire”, from the forests of California to the halls of Congress.


Lorena Gorbett, Mountain Maidu tribal member; Debbie Miley, National Wildfire Suppression Association executive director; Chuck Striplen, environmental scientist; Tom Tidwell, National Forest Service chief; Carmen Moon, The Natives crew boss, Darryl Stockdale, aviation contractor; Timothy Ingalsbee, Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology (FUSEE) co-founder; Brent Johnson, National Parks botanist; Valentine Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band chair, Howard Hunter, Chips fire information officer; Scott Stephens, UC Berkeley associate professor of fire science

For More Information:

Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology
National Wildfire Suppression Association
US Forest Service
Stephen’s Lab: Research and Education in Wildland Fire Science
Konkow Valley Band of Maidu
KQNY radio


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Getting Burned: A Taxpayer’s Guide to Wildfire Suppression Costs

Bob Dylan, “Suze (The Cough Song)”
John Fahey, “Sunflower River Blues”

Author: IreneFlorez

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  1. I live in the mountains, I see the problem of forest fires due largely to poor logging practices in the past. When they logged the old growth the woods were not managed correctly. Now we have too play catch up. Logging companies now pile the debris and burn it then plant hybrid trees which grow faster and burn hotter.

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  2. The East Bay Express quotes Scott Stephens about the Rim Fire in Yosemite:

    Yosemite Fire Fueled By Budget Cuts

    US Forest Service officials told them that a lack of federal funds had prevented the agency from implementing its plans to thin the understory in Stanislaus National Forest, where the Rim Fire is raging, and conduct small controlled burns there to reduce fuel levels. As a result, the forest is choked with underbrush that is feeding the intensely hot blaze — so hot that it’s threatening to engulf giant redwoods that have lived for thousands of years and are normally fire-resistant.

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