DiscoverLiving With Fire Podcast
Living With Fire Podcast
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© 2023 Living With Fire Podcast
Wildfire is a major ecological issue, especially in the Western United States. On the Living With Fire podcast, you'll hear perspectives and stories from land managers, scientists, fire professionals and community members about the history of fire, how fire is currently managed in the landscape and the role that humans play in living more safely with wildfire. This podcast was funded by the Bureau of Land Management - Nevada State Office. The Living With Fire Program is a multiagency effort and is managed by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension. An EEO/AA institution.
Eco-Anxiety & Wildfire
Wildfire is a vital ecological process, but it can be dangerous. It’s also a tangible reminder of how our climate is changing around us. Therefore, living in areas impacted by wildfire can be stressful on many levels, and individuals may experience eco-anxiety – or even eco-grief – in response. On the latest episode of the Living With Fire Podcast, guest Caitlyn Wallace, LCSW, unpacks these terms and talks about ways to address feelings about wildfire and climate change. According to Wallace, “Eco-anxiety is the anxiousness and the worry about the changing climate and what might happen. And eco-grief is the sadness and grief at the loss of life – human, animal and plant life – that you anticipate to come.”Wallace, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in Northern Nevada, specializes in perinatal mental health and the emerging field of climate-informed therapy. She treats patients experiencing pregnancy, postpartum depression and anxiety, infertility, grief and loss. Wallace explained that some of her clients were also experiencing eco-anxiety and eco-grief. “I started noticing in some of my clients this grief and guilt around – I work so hard for this baby, I tried so hard for this baby. The baby is here. And now I am guilty and ashamed because there’s a pandemic, there’s smoke, there’s this warming climate and we’re in a huge drought. What did I do? Why did I bring a baby into this world?” said Wallace. On the podcast, Wallace explained that anxiety and grief show up differently for everyone. Therefore, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for dealing with eco-anxiety and grief. However, she emphasized the importance of acknowledging feelings and experiences. “I think that a big thing is being able to name it and being able to talk about it. Yeah, we know enough to know that for a lot of these things. Specifically, depression, anxiety, that being able to talk about your feelings around them gets you out of a fight-or-flight reactive place and into a place where you can be more responsive.”Wallace speaks about the benefits of finding a space to talk about the feelings of eco-anxiety, such as a Climate Café modeled after Death Cafés. According to the Climate Psychology Alliance of North America, a Climate Café is “an informal, open, respectful, confidential space to safely share emotional responses and reactions related to the climate and environmental emergency.”Wallace is one of the only climate-informed therapists in Northern Nevada and has started hosting free Climate Cafés in Reno, which you can read about in Our Town Reno. And, to learn more about eco-anxiety, check out Wallace’s suggested reading list below:A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health, by Anouchka Grose Generation Dread, by Britt WrayTurn the Tide on Climate Anxiety: Sustainable Action for Your Mental Health and the Planet, by Megan Kennedy-Woodard and Dr. Patrick Kennedy-WilliamsEarth Emotions: New Words for a New World, by Glenn A. Albrecht
Trauma-Informed Communication About Wildfire
As a program coordinator for Oregon State University Extension's Natural Resources Education Program, Yasmeen Hossain, Ph.D. supports educators by providing educational resources in environmental education. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and destructive wildfires have been impacting the lives of many in the west, including students. Consequently, Hossain noticed that the educators she worked with were asking for tools and resources to help support students who may have personal experiences with these potentially traumatic events. To fill this need, in 2021 Hossain published the Trauma-Informed Toolkit. A Resource for Educators. “I kept wanting to have some kind of written document, like a resource document that I could give them before the workshop, or that they could come back to after a workshop. And I couldn't find one that encompassed everything I wanted them to have at their fingertips. And so at some point, I was like, Well, I guess I just got to write it myself,” said Hossain. Wildfire can be very stressful, and it’s possible for children and adults to experience a trauma response related to wildfire, for a variety of reasons as Hossian explains. “So the topic of fire wildfire it is has a lot of potential to activate our nervous system to again create that overwhelming out of control feeling that we might have. And the reason for that is because of the magnitude and the impact that it can have on our lives.” Hossain emphasizes that when someone is experiencing a trauma response, especially a child, it is more important to help them manage their stress than to try and explain why it is happening. “So really knowing about and utilizing tools and strategies and information to help them balance their nervous system again, and boost their resilience.”To learn more, check out the resources below: · Trauma-Informed Toolkit· Wildfire Evacuation Checklist· Living With Fire
Smoke & Water
Wildfire smoke can seriously impact humans' health, but scientists have discovered that it can also affect the health of ecosystems. On the Living With Fire Podcast, Professor Sudeep Chandra, director of the Global Water Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, talks about how scientists have been working to understand these impacts on Lake Tahoe's aquatic ecosystem. Stakeholders in the Tahoe Basin have been working for decades to “Keep Tahoe Blue,” and have been trying to control algae growth in the lake. Chandra explains that one direct effect wildfire smoke can potentially have on the lake is stimulating algae growth. "So just like Miracle-Gro has a nice combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to grow our garden plants, it turns out smoke has a ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus. Sometimes it's optimal, and sometimes it's not," explains Chandra. In addition to providing nutrients for fertilizing algae, Chandra explains that smoke can also affect the amount of light hitting the lake, potentially reducing the amount of ultraviolet light, which kills algae cells. With wildfires occurring more frequently and becoming more intense, Assistant Professor Christina Restaino, director of the Living With Fire program, explained what it's like for scientists working in fire right now. "We're entering this new era of no analog experiences, where these ecosystems are experiencing this smoke every single year or fire every single year. We don't have an analog from the past to understand that. So yeah, it's exciting, and it's really unknown."To learn more, check out the resources below: Caldor Fire impact on Lake Tahoe’s clarity, ecology studied amidst ongoing wildfire seasonGlobal Water CenterLiving With Fire
Chief Clive Savacool on the Caldor Fire Evacuation
On August 3, 2021 the City of South Lake Tahoe’s city council approved their new wildfire evacuation plan. Clive Savacool, Fire Chief with South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue, led the effort to draft the new plan, not knowing that it would be put into action for real a few weeks later when the Caldor Fire would threaten South Lake Tahoe.On Episode 9 of the Living With Fire Podcast, Chief Savacool talks about writing and executing the evacuation plan. "When I was putting it together with help from others, I honestly never envisioned putting it into play on my own, during my career," Savacool explains.But, on August 30, 2021 at 10:59 am, the very active Caldor Fire was spreading toward South Lake Tahoe. As a result, agencies began evacuating people. About 22,000 people were issued evacuation orders and told to leave their homes.Later that night, the Caldor Fire crossed Echo Summit and entered Christmas Valley, a secluded community about 10 miles away from South Lake Tahoe. Amanda Milici, the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities coordinator, lives in Christmas Valley. Milici described how she and her partner were evacuated twice, first, to her partners' parents' home in South Lake Tahoe, where they were required to evacuate again, less than 24 hours later."We kind of thought we would at least have a couple days there, you know? We had no idea how fast the fire was moving, and then the next morning, probably just like 12 hours later, we evacuated from the city." Milici explains.The Caldor Fire evacuation was a massive operation. Chief Savacool described some of the challenges involved in such an effort and how agencies in Tahoe worked together to make it happen. “We all recognize that we can't handle a major incident our own and we recognize that the community is what matters. And so we have to make sure we're doing right by them versus our own interests,” said Savacool.For more information about preparing for wildfire in Lake Tahoe visit TahoeLivingWithFire.comHave you listened to the Living With Fire Podcast? Fill out the Living With Fire Podcast Survey at bit.ly/LivingWithFirePodcastSurveyFunding for this podcast was provided by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1994 in cooperation with the Tahoe RCD & University of Nevada, Reno Extension, an EEO/AA Institution.
Christmas Tree Cutting
Cutting your own Christmas tree is more than a fun way to get outdoors and create lasting memories. On the latest episode of the Living With Fire Podcast, we cover the ins and outs of cutting your own Christmas tree with Jennifer Diamond, Fire Mitigation Specialist with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, and Tessa Putz with the University of Nevada, Reno Extension. They explain how cutting your own Christmas tree can help restore Nevada's rangelands and thin-out overgrown landscapes, reducing the risk of high-intensity wildfire. Diamond also shares how to get your permit, what the rules are and some tips for cutting your tree on BLM lands in Nevada. Learn more below. To purchase a permit to cut a Christmas tree on Bureau of Land Management land in Nevada go to https://forestproducts.blm.gov/To purchase a permit to cut a Christmas Tree in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/home/?cid=FSEPRD564027
August Isernhagen: A Perspective on Wildland Firefighting
We interviewed August Isernhagen, Division Chief of Wildland Fuels with Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue, about his career as a wildland firefighter. Isernhagen shares some highlights and challenges he's experienced along the way, as well as some tips for residents, if they ever come in contact with wildland firefighters. "Approach them as a trained professional. This is what they chose to do as their trade and show them that respect, in their expertise, for what they know," said Isernhagen.
Regime Change: History of Fire Ecology in Nevada
From the Ponderosa Pine-covered mountains in the Great Basin to the arid Mojave Desert and all the sagebrush and grass in between, Nevada’s ecosystems are diverse and fire behaves differently across these regions, both historically and today. The guests on the latest episode of the Living With Fire Podcast “Regime Change: History of fire ecology in Nevada,” explain why fire is an important process in Nevada, how scientists study fire, and why understanding the history of fire can give scientists and land managers useful clues to help them manage landscapes today.Guests:Alexandra Urza, research ecologist with the U.S. Forest ServiceStanley G. Kitchen, research botanist with the U.S. Forest ServiceMatthew Brooks, supervisory research ecologist with the Western Ecological Research Center
For centuries, the Washoe Tribe migrated seasonally between the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. Their presence on the land and cultural practices helped mitigate wildfire risk, as well as enhance wildlife and resilience to drought.We interviewed Rhiana Jones, Interim Director of the Washoe Environmental Protection Department, and Washoe Tribal Council member Helen Fillmore. They helped to shed light on how the forced removal of Washoe people and their practices from the land has impacted ecosystems. They also discussed how the MÁYALA WÁTA Restoration Project aims to restore and preserve Meeks Meadow by integrating traditional knowledge and culturally guided burning practices into current land management strategies.
Perspectives on what life is like in some of Nevada’s high fire hazard areas. Featuring interviews with Jon Griggs, ranch manager at Maggie Creek Ranch in Elko, Nevada; and Jole Rector and Todd Ballowe, Washoe County residents living in a high fire hazard area.
Managing Fire in Nevada
Host Megan Kay talks with Gwen Sanchez, Fire Management Officer with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and Paul Peterson, the Nevada State Fire Management Officer with the Bureau of Land Management about managing fire in Nevada. They explain how agencies work together throughout the state to respond to fire, restore landscapes and mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
Living With Fire
Members of the Living With Fire program’s growing team give their perspective on what it means to “live with fire,” and talk about how they are continuing the program’s mission in new and innovative ways.
How did we get here? History of Wildfire in Nevada
Brad Schultz, professor and Humboldt County Extension educator, discusses the role of fire in Nevada, historically. As an expert in rangeland management, he has looked at wildfire from a “big picture” perspective across the state and across the West.
Season 2 Preview
We're excited to bring you Season 2 of the Living With Fire Podcast. Here's a little preview of what to expect.
Welcome to the Living With Fire Podcast