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In 2020, more than 4 million acres burned in California, nearly doubling the previous record. Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources responded to nearly 2,000 individual fires. In Oregon, more than 4,000 homes burned, compared to just 93 in the previous five years combined.
There’s no question that wildfires are breaking records with each passing year, and the accompanying headlines traffic heavily in superlatives — and with good reason, as many fires are burning hotter, faster, bigger, and exacting a higher financial and human cost than ever before. But while the numbers themselves are striking, do they tell the whole story? How can history, culture, and science help interpret these numbers, and provide necessary context to understand the bigger picture of fire — and the future of fire — in the American West?
The Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources will host a two-day virtual workshop, April 22-23, 2021, to address those very questions, and hear from some of the leading voices in the field about how we need to shift our thinking about fire if we’re ever going to learn to live alongside it.
Application period closes Wednesday, April 7, at midnight (Eastern).
For each workshop, we will select 25 new applicants who represent diversity in geography, outlet, race, gender, experience, and journalistic medium.
* We will strive to include a significant number of journalists of color.
* We will consider allowing several national outlets to attend all four workshops if space allows.
Registration is free. Accepted journalists will be sent a registration link.