Starting this fall wildland firefighters will have the dubious pleasure of watching their profession depicted in a television series on a major network. Fire Country is about a guy, Bode Donavan, who is in a California prison and signs up to serve on a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection inmate hand crew. It turns out that the camp where the crew is based is in his hometown, “The place where all his troubles began,” says the CBS description of the drama.
It is scheduled to air Fridays at 9/8 CT. I’m sure that real firefighters will enjoy picking it apart after it premieres.
In the trailer below, the fire scenes appear to be computer-generated imagery (CGI). Wildfire flames and smoke are some of the most difficult scenes to pull off successfully with CGI. It will be interesting to watch how well it is done. The best I have seen was in Only the Brave, about the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Update May 28, 2022
The Director of CAL FIRE, Joe Tyler, sent an email to the agency’s employees indicating that CAL FIRE is not pleased. Here is an excerpt:
This television series is a misrepresentation of the professional all-hazards fire department and resource protection agency that CAL FIRE is. The dramatization of inmate firefighters fighting members of CAL FIRE is a poor reflection of the value of our Camps Program and the incredible work and leadership of our fire captains who supervise our handcrews.
While we cannot prevent this television series from airing, I believe it is important for each of you to hear from me directly that the Department was not involved in its creation or support.