Video: the current state of wildfire and fuel management

Steve Smith told us about this video that he created with Walter Gallacher. It is very well done, with good images and a thoughtful narrative. It summarizes the state of wildfire and fuel management, or the lack thereof, in the United States.

WILDFIRE, Forest fires in the American West from Steven G. Smith on Vimeo.

Below is the description of the video, from VIMEO:

An environmental multimedia story on forest fires in the American West.

Ever since we seized fire from nature at the dawn of our civilization it has defined us. We have prided ourselves on our ability to control it and shape it to our needs. But the same fire that fuels our internal combustion engines and powers are industry is overheating our planet. Earth’s rising temperature is stressing our forests and our wildlands and spawning catastrophic wildfires around the globe.

In our effort to tame fire it seems we have made it more feral. Rising spring and summer temperatures in the West have created a fire season that lasts ten weeks longer than in the 1970’s and results in larger and more frequent blazes.

These new blazes known as “megafires” are erupting at a rate seven times greater each year in the past decade and are burning upward of 10,000 acres and sterilizing the earth with their intensity.

Utilizing powerful images of these megafires this film reflects on our relationship with fire, past and present, and wonders how fire will define our future.

Script and narration by Walter Gallacher
Produced and photographed by Steven G. Smith

We asked Mr. Smith about his involvement with fire and his motivation for making the film. Here is his response:

I began to photograph wildfires as a staff photojournalist about fifteen years ago, I was stunned by the devastation and power of these disasters. Last year I decided that I wanted to do more than just document these as individual events. I teamed up with Walter Gallacher to create an educational multimedia piece. Our goal was to create a short film designed to increase awareness and hopefully effect change.

Over the years I have been truly overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication of the many wildland firefighters that I worked with. This story is dedicated in their honor.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.