Catastrophic wildfires on the west coast feel like a very modern problem — one that’s a product of global warming, improper zoning policies, drought and more. Yet fires are also nothing new, and have been raging on these landscapes for hundreds of years. A new project from the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West attempts to tie together the history of Western fire with modern fire ecology. A large part of that history also surrounds Native American tribes who have lived on this land — and used fire as a tool to preserve it — for millennia. The project is called the West on Fire, and Match Volume’s Sean Flannelly sat down to talk with its lead investigator, Jared Aldern.
Special thanks to Ashi Kumar who contributed to the promotion of this week’s episode.