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Part 7: Climate Change, Fire Suppression, And The Growing Human Toll Of Wildfires

Kerry Klein
Rock Haven, a 160-acre development near Shaver Lake that's home to a cluster of historic cabins, survived the Creek Fire with only minor damage low to the ground.

The emergency rescues at Mammoth Pool Reservoir last September didn't happen in a vacuum. Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, faster, and more intense, and “megafires” like the Creek Fire, driven largely by climate change and a century of fire suppression, are putting people and infrastructure more at risk than ever. 

This conversation features CalFire/Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Urias; Province Ecologist Marc Meyer and Research Economist Jose Sanchez with the U.S. Forest Service; Sergeant Jeff Andriese, Aerial Supervisor with the California Highway Patrol; and Registered Professional Forester Julianne Stewart. 

Credit Kerry Klein / KVPR
Forester Julianne Stewart stands in Rock Haven, which survived the Creek Fire after she supervised forest treatments there that removed excess trees and brush from the ground. For a time, CalFire used the property as a command center to protect the community of Shaver Lake from the fire.

This is the final episode in this series, but don’t unsubscribe just yet – we may post some updates and bonus content later this fall!


  • Reporter/Producer: Kerry Klein
  • Editor: Alice Daniel
  • Web support: Alex Burke
  • Engineering support: Don Weaver
  • Music: written by Kevin MacLeod (songs: Unanswered Questions, Acid Trumpet)

This is the sixth episode of KVPR’s podcastEscape From Mammoth Pool: the true story of how 242 people and 16 dogs escaped one of the fastest-moving wildfires in California’s recorded history.

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