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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
    23:30
    Episode 10
    23:30
    The Big Burn: What Comes Next?
    We get into our feelings. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/bigburn and get on your way to being your best self.
  • A person in silhouette looks out at hills on fire with the words; The Big Burn in orange display type
    29:04
    Episode 9
    Jacob and retired LA County Fire Captain Derek Bart answer your burning questions. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/bigburn and get on your way to being your best self.
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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.
Credits
Science Reporter (he/him)
Senior Producer, LAist Studios
Associate Producer
Editor
Audio Production Engineer
Executive Producer, LAist Studios / Host & Producer, Norco '80
Senior Producer
Vice President, LAist Studios - Podcasting