Our voices were warbling over WhatsApp, one colleague to another, continents apart, when I realized, during one of those pauses when the bytes are racing to reconstruct into voices, that her pause after I said “Swiss Cheese Model” wasn’t because of the balky internet but rather she hadn’t heard of the concept. I offered this […]
Here’s the pitch. The Apprentice is tanking. We might imagine that the executive producer, moving on to bigger challenges, is desperate for another vehicle, desperate for a win. A huge win. Sir, we say, all we need to do is just try to solve the fire problem. Even if we don’t win, we’ve got guaranteed […]
The Doubting Thomases who parley “climate skepticism” into their own self-promotion have joined together into a club, some of whom are moving this month into a few wings of the White House and the US federal government. As fire professionals, this does and should concern us — as we either engage in and work to […]
Why “wicked fire problems” are the focus of two simultaneous IAWF conferences and this issue of Wildfire Magazine.
When animals gather in large groups, we give them names: a “charm of finches,” a “bike of hornets.” Crows come in a murder, horde, parcel, or my favorite — a storytelling of crows. In folktales, crows gathered to pass judgment (and capital punishment) on their peers. Other eytomologies claim that this dark side of crows […]
For an hour on a small fire in this huge burning summer I doubled-up, adding incident commander to my role as duty officer, which is a no-no in anyone’s SOPs. Duty Officer should stay big-picture. This was a Red Flag day and I’d planned to meet a patrol engine in the field — so she […]
What is news when a fire burns?
Renewal and reinvention: notes from Portugal
It is a Saturday in late April and we’re thinking of wildfires. Nearly half of the contiguous United States is in drought and fire season has started across the West, South and East. Earlier this spring a New Jersey brush fire smoked out Manhattan. On television, an episode of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” follows […]
BRIEFING: Farmers, baseball fans and firefighters all talk about the coming season. This year, in our corner of Wyoming, the talk is of wet months and dry and a hope for a normal summer of thunderstorms. Yet, along with most of the West, we’re in long-term drought. Spring flushed green with hints of a normal […]