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KS Wild podcast focused on living with wildfire

ASHLAND — Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center recently released a six-episode podcast series that focuses on living amid wildfire in the age of climate change.

The podcast, titled “One Foot in the Black,” narrates the West’s history and wildfire conditions exacerbated by climate change, according to co-host Alexi Lovechio.

Contributing voices include cultural fire practitioners, firefighters, scientists and policymakers — stakeholders of the West’s “fire future.” In the podcast, tribal members illuminate the value of cultural fire use practices as a form of community and land protection, Lovechio said.

In the first half-hour episode, listeners meet Ashland Wildfire Division Chief Chris Chambers, Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, Lomakatsi Restoration Project Tribal Partnerships Director Belinda Brown, research ecologist Jessica Halofsky and Janet Lancaster, co-founder of Firesmart Merlin.

The podcast offers a hopeful glimpse into sustainable firefighting and management operations, shifting away from “a perpetual state of war against wildfire” by communities and emergency responders, according to Timothy Ingalsbee, executive director of Firefighters for United Safety, Ethics and Ecology.

“There is one common thread that carries through many of our interviews: Climate change is rewriting the rules on how we experience fire,” said Joseph Vaile, co-host and climate director at KS Wild.

The podcast title echoes a term used by wildland firefighters to refer to the blackened area within a fire line — a boundary that is both closest to active flames and the nearest avenue for escape, according to podcast producer Jessica Klinke.

“Climate change is forcing our communities to live with one foot in the black,” Klinke said.

The podcast can be heard on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and the KS Wild website.