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The Big Burn: How To Survive the Age of Wildfires
Graphic of a Southern California mountain range at dusk; a mountain road is seen with emergency vehicles and evacuating cars, far in the distance are lights from a city and a view of an observatory perched on a mountain summit, the fading sunlight setting behind the mountains
(Ruolin Tu for LAist)
The Big Burn: How To Survive the Age of Wildfires
As the world enters a new age of wildfires, science reporter Jacob Margolis dives deep into personal stories that illuminate the history of how we got here, why we keep screwing things up, and what we can do to survive and maybe even thrive while the world around us burns.

About the Show

It’s easy to feel like we’re in a dark timeline. Waking up to smoke and flames, staring down a future of burned homes, lost forests, and orange skies. Over the past decade, California has been hit by nine out of ten of its largest fires on record. And even if you don't live in the state, you’re likely impacted by the fire crisis. A combination of climate change and poor policy decisions got us here.

So, is there anything we can do about this new age of devastating wildfires? Science reporter Jacob Margolis goes on a journey to figure out how we got here, why we keep screwing things up, and what we can do to survive and even thrive while the world around us burns. From LAist Studios, the creators of The Big One, this next installment of The Big Disaster series will provide you with a wildfire survival guide that includes not just tangible safety tips — but hope for our future.

Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live, the Strelow Family, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Funding provided by:

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Episodes
  • The Big Burn text above hills with homes on fire, four palm trees in the middle ground, and a person watching from afar in the foreground
    30:06
    Episode 2
    30:06
    The Big Burn: Saving Our Giant Sequoias
    Why trees that are adapted to living with fire are now burning… and how we might save them. Preppi is giving a free emergency kit with any purchase over $100. Go to preppi.com/thebigburn for more information. Support for this podcast is made possible by BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/bigburn today to get 10% off your first month. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live, the Strelow Family, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
  • The Big Burn text above hills with homes on fire, four palm trees in the middle ground, and a person watching from afar in the foreground
    39:42
    Episode 1
    39:42
    The Big Burn: The New Normal
    We examine one particularly pivotal wildfire - the Tubbs fire of 2017.Preppi is giving a free emergency kit with any purchase over $100. Go to preppi.com/thebigburn for more informationVisit betterhelp.com/bigburn today to get 10% off your first month.Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live, the Strelow Family, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
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  • The Big Burn text above hills with homes on fire, four palm trees in the middle ground, and a person watching from afar in the foreground
    4:11
    4:11
    Introducing: The Big Burn Podcast
    As the world enters a new age of wildfires, science reporter Jacob Margolis dives deep into personal stories that illuminate the history of how we got here, why we keep screwing things up, and what we can do to survive and maybe even thrive while the world around us burns. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live, the Strelow Family, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
Credits
Host & Science Reporter
Associate Producer
Editor
Audio Production Engineer
Executive Producer
Vice President, LAist Studios