The Basics of Wildfires

Every summer the west seems to burn with hotter and more intense fires. Homes burn and habitat is ravished by huge fires that leave the ecosystem unrecognizable. However, it is important not to think of fire as the enemy here. Fire is only bad if we view it that way. My hope is that after watching these video shorts here, you’ll have a better understanding of the complex nature of fires and how we should be viewing fires. The video below (and this trailer to the video) gives a broad overview of how to best think about fire.

That’s the 100,000 foot view of fire and how it influences both us and the environment. In creating this film, however, we found that there are a few areas that could use a bit more explaining. We made a very short video on each them for those of you that would like to understand the complexity of each aspect a bit more.

The Extended Short Series About Wildland Fire

The following 6 videos are intended to follow up the above videos about wildland fire out west. Each picks apart some of the complexities of fire and goes a bit more indepth on that topic. We hope these serve as a good way to really learn about what’s going on out west with these researchers.

1 – Understanding “Fuels”

If there is one thing that is important to understand, it’s the meaning of fuel and how it plays into our management strategies.

2 – How Drought, Insects and Disease Effects Fire

3 – Understanding Smoke

4 – Why We Can’t Let Fire Just Burn

5 – Misconceptions and Benefits of Wildland Fires

6- Minimizing Risk of Catastrophic Fires

7- How Fire Effects Spotted Owls and Black-backed Woodpeckers

Additional Topics left in this series

  • How fire effects Spotted Owls

Related Topics

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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