Why this story needs to be told
There is no more wild fire season. We now have wild fires all year round.
In Fire Line, Arnold Schwarzenegger joins an elite team of wild-land firefighters as they battle a new breed of forest fire, one made more deadly by climate change.
And he discovers another killer, one wiping out trees at an even faster rate than forest fires.
Pocatello & Driggs, ID; Missoula & Superior, MT; Albuquerque, NM; Prescott, AZ; Brussels, Belgium
Meet The Characters
I started fighting fires in '87. I like to look at an example of the Dude Fire and that was like twenty thousand acres, it blew our minds at that time being a very large fire, and nowadays we’re seeing some four hundred thousand acre fires.
Fire is not inherently “bad” for ecosystems. In fact, most land plants are well-adapted to fire at some frequency and intensity, and some even require fire to grow and regenerate. The negative impacts of wildfires now, however, derive from a “wicked” combination of changes in ecosystems, increasing numbers of people building their homes in fire-prone places, and increasing temperatures and drought.
Behind The Scenes
Ecologists Tom Swetnam and Craig Allen explain the feedback loop of climate change creating conditions for worsening wildfires. The wildfires, in turn, eliminate trees which absorb carbon, making climate change worse. Arnold Schwarzengger narrates.
Science Behind The Story
Today’s fire season is two and a half months longer than it was just a few decades ago.SOURCE
Today’s fire season is two and a half months longer than it was just a few decades ago.
Westerling et al. (2006). http://www.fsl.orst.edu/wpg/events/W11/ClimateChange_Firest_Fire.pdf
When you have something like 45 million acres of trees killed that affects just everything. It affects wildlife, it affects water, it affects fishing, agriculture, and of course all those dead trees are no longer going to be sequestering carbon. What they’re going to be doing is releasing carbon. So it’s almost like you get this feedback that you know it warms, the trees become stressed, the beetles do better, they kill a lot of trees, but then that releases more carbon, and that affects everybody.