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Dr. Steve Pyne Comments on 2017 California Fires

April 24, 2018

      The California fires ended the 2017 fire season with massive media attention. Both outbreaks - northern in October, southern in December - involved well-known landscapes and inflicted considerable damages. The northern fires involved the worst structure losses from an urban fire since San Francisco burned in 1906. The primary southern fire, the Thomas, became the largest in California's recorded history. In the aftermath of the Thomas fire, debris flows ran through Montecito.

      CBS faculty affiliate, Steve Pyne, is regarded as the country's foremost historian of fire. He did almost daily interviews with California and national media, wrote commentaries for Fortune, Slate, and History News Network, reprinted by Time. Meanwhile he delivered a plenary talk on the history of wildland fire science in the United States to the Association for Fire Ecology's fire congress, held in Orlando in November. That talk was taped and is available here.

      His recent research has surveyed the American fire scene with ten books. One, Between Two Fires (2015), is a narrative history since 1960. The other, To the Last Smoke, is a series of regional studies, of which six have been published and three are written and in press.

More Information: Steve Pyne (steve.pyne@asu.edu)

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