Are 'Megafires' Our New Reality? | Connecticut Public Radio

Are 'Megafires' Our New Reality?

Nov 15, 2018

Massive wildfires are devastating California, with dozens dead and hundreds of thousands of residents evacuated. This hour we talk with author and environmental journalist Michael Kodas about why wildfires today are so much larger and more destructive than ever before. Do you have family or friends who’ve been affected by blazes across the west?


  • Michael Kodas - Deputy Director for the Center for Environmental Journalism at University of Colorado Boulder; author and photojournalist focused on environmental hazards. He is the author of Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame (@MichaelKodas)
  • Rich Schenk - Fire Control Officer for Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). He’s been fighting wildfires out west since 1988, and helps run the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew


NPR: California's Camp Fire Becomes The Deadliest Wildfire In State History (November 13, 2018) – “Fire investigators in Northern California say they found the human remains of 6 more individuals, bringing the death toll to at least 48 people who have died in the wildfire that burned through the town of Paradise with shocking speed, making the Camp Fire the deadliest wildfire in state history.”

NPR: 3 Reasons Why California's Fire Risk Won't Dampen Anytime Soon (December 2017) – “What sometimes gets lost in the flurry of TV coverage showing dramatic images of wildfires is that for more than a century we've suppressed naturally occurring wildfires in California and the West. This has led to an unnatural buildup of fuels.”

Politico: Trump blames California forest policies for deadly wildfires – “Trump has previously criticized management of California’s forests, blaming the spread of wildfires and widespread drought on the state’s water policy. Trump in August said California’s “bad environmental laws” are a cause of wildfires. Experts have disputed those claims.”

Below, Connecticut Public hosted a book talk by Megafire author Michael Kodas on July 13, 2018, at our Learning Lab space in Hartford. Dan Haar of Hearst Connecticut Media moderated. Watch the entire talk below:

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.