About this episode:
It’s hard to comprehend the scale of the wildfires burning across the west. Millions of acres have burned, thousands of homes and structures have been destroyed. Dozens of people are dead and more are missing. Hazardous air quality and apocalyptic skies have forced millions to stay inside.
Climate change is a major reason why these fires continue to get bigger, more frequent, and more destructive. But years of fire suppression means the forests are full of overgrown brush, which acts as fuel for these massive wildfires.
Native tribes like the Yuroks in far northern California used to regularly burn the land to clear the brush, until the government banned the practice for decades. But indigenous people are reclaiming their traditions of burning the land, and helping the environment in the process.
On the latest episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee talks with Margo Robbins, a Yurok tribal member and president of the Cultural Fire Management Council, about her work in resurrecting the practice of burning to help the land.
Find the transcript here.
Further reading and watching:
- Satellite images show Western fires producing massive clouds of smoke, pollutants
- Scientists warn climate change is worsening California’s wildfires