Trip Jennings’ award-winning wildfire documentary now screening

The documentary film Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire will be screened at Granada Theater in The Dalles, Oregon at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 5 and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6. The film begins with views of a harrowing escape from Paradise, California, as the town was torched by wind-driven embers and burned within just hours of the fire’s start. The film features climate experts, Indigenous viewpoints, and fire survivors — and explores lessons from recent record-shattering fires across the West.
ElementalThe Columbia Gorge News reported that filmmaker Trip Jennings founded Balance Media and has worked with National Geographic for more than a decade. His films have won dozens of awards around the world and have aired on major networks on every continent.

Willamette Week reported that before this documentary began touring Oregon this spring — from Hood River to La Grande to Astoria — there was one statistic that director Trip Jennings wanted to add to the film:

“In California, 80 percent of homes that burn in wildfires are not surrounded by forests. Nationally, a majority of homes that burn in wildfires aren’t in forests.”

Why then, the film asks, are hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually fighting fires in forests? In response, Elemental explores fire’s natural ecology, how Indigenous burning practices could change the conversation, and how the best defense against wildfire begins with homes themselves.

Elemental Awards

Elemental has been selected for more than 40 film festivals and already has won numerous awards. The film is currently in theaters nationwide, and it will be available on streaming in June. SEE IT: Elemental tours Oregon during April and May. See a full list of screenings at

Watch the Trailer:

Learn more at

National Geographic wants photos from firefighters

NatGeo YourShot

National Geographic wants firefighters to send them photos taken at wildland fires. The images above are a brief sample of some that have been submitted. So far they have 268 photos.

Here is a copy of a blog entry at their website written by Mark Thiessen, a staff photographer for National Geographic.


“I’ve been shooting wildfires for nearly 20 years, and I’m always impressed by the photographs taken by firefighters. It usually goes something like this: “Hey Mark! You should have been here yesterday, check this out!” And they whip out their cameras and show me killer images that I wish I had shot. It never fails. Everyone says, “You should have been here yesterday!”

At Your Shot we want to give you, the firefighters, an opportunity to share your images far and wide. Upload your images to using the hashtag #Wildfire2014(Those of you not in the fire community, you can still participate by engaging with the photos that come in by commenting and favoriting the images and sharing your own stories).

You are right in the middle of it and have the unique opportunity to show your friends and family what it’s like to be on the inside. Maybe it’s a dramatic burnout operation at night, a portrait of your soot-covered squad boss during mop up, or a Nomex (fire-resistant suit) so dirty it can stand up on its own.

The key to getting great fire pictures is being there for the next “yesterday.”

A few disclaimers:

DON’T BURN YOUR BUDDY: If you include firefighters in your pictures, make sure they’re wearing appropriate PPE for the situation.

STAY FOCUSED: Don’t let your desire for a great shot distract you from your firefighting duties.”