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California's Wildfires

Wildfires have come to define the West Coast climate, with record-breaking fires each successive season. According to a CAL FIRE report, 4.2 million acres of California’s landscape burned in 2020 alone, shattering the record for most acres burned in a single year.

See the wide-reaching impacts of California’s worsening wildfires and discover centuries-old Indigenous practices that may offer a path forward for living and working with fire.
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firefighter lighting the final edige of a prescribed fire in Washington
Article
Tending Nature

This Land is Their Land: A Future for Indigenous Fire in Southern California

In what we now call Southern California, fire was an everyday tool for Indigenous people for thousands of years. With wildfires happening so frequently, it is time to bring back carefully planned, well-timed, appropriately scaled, deliberate, cultural fires not only to honor Indigenous cultural practitioners, but also the land on which many of us have been settling.
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18:28
Tending the Wild

Cultural Burning

Suppressed for over a century, indigenous cultural burning is still practiced today.
Firefighter sprays fire retardant on the forest floor.
Show

Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future

"Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future" reveals how fire suppression and climate change have exposed our forests and wildland-urban landscapes to large, high severity wildfires, while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming.
This desert cottontail was dropped off at a rehab center with multiple injuries. He has found a home at an animal habitat. | Renee Grayson/Creative Commons
Article
Earth Focus

How Wildlife Weathers California’s Deadly Wildfires

California’s wildfires have become more destructive and frequent in recent years, leaving behind a profound impact on wildlife. 
Two firefighters survey a fire from the sky. | Courtesy of Cliff Walters
Article
Blue Sky Metropolis

How CAL FIRE's Flying Firefighters Get the Job Done in Our Smoldering State

The thought of flight and the consuming power of fire has fascinated mankind for centuries. For the CAL FIRE team, fire and flight go hand in hand.  
Yurok Fight for Cultural Burning
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7:54
Departures

Yurok Fight for Cultural Burning

The return of cultural burning to the Yurok tribal lands revived land management that provides essential materials and cultural significance to the people who live on the land.
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Article
Tending the Wild

A Gift of Fire to the Land: Talking With Jared Dahl Aldern

Cultural burning can still play a beneficial role in California's landscape
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Article
Tending the Wild

Fire Suppression is Bad for Wildlife. So is Post-Fire Logging

Ironically, Smokey the Bear would actually live better if his forest home burned every now and then.