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This is Now with Angie Coiro Presents: Gary Ferguson on Wildfires

  • Kepler's Books 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA, 94025 United States (map)

The October fires in the North Bay yielded grim, astounding numbers: 250 blazes across 6 counties, including 21 major wildfires; 243,000 acres and 8900 buildings burned; 43 people dead. The Tubbs fire was the most destructive inferno in California history.

Dry seasons in the West are getting drier and longer, even as residential areas push further into the wilderness. Since 1985, acreage burned in Western states has doubled.

What's the science behind these growing conflagrations? Is firefighting technology ready for the challenge? What should we expect in decades to come - and how much control will we have?

Nature writer Gary Ferguson joins Angie Coiro for another installment of her This Is Now interview series. They'll touch on all these aspects of wildfire, from climate change to fuel sources and long-term challenges. Ferguson's book Land On Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West is the latest of his more than twenty non-fiction books, including Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone, The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind, and most recently the memoir The Carry Home. Among his literary awards are the Montana Book of the Year kudo for Decade of the Wolf, and the Society of American Travel Writers award for The Sylvan Path.