CHANGE PERMEATES HUMAN EXISTENCE — in our world and in our profession, and in Wildfire magazine too. As the International Association of Wildland Fire explores its mission to unite our profession globally, it has become time to ask how a magazine like this can best serve our members, our profession and our communities in a global and online era. As board and committee members and so many others help to explore these new paths, I find it’s time for me to explore all topics wildfire from another lookout. And so with this issue I’ll be stepping aside as editor.

Over…

Each issue of Wildfire magazine begins with the editor’s “Briefing” column — an introduction to what frames the issue’s contents and an invitation to engage in the key articles and commentary. The August 2019 issue focused on climate change and wildfire and I invite you to explore insights from a range of fire professionals on the topic that shapes our work today and will have even greater impact in the decades to come.

OUR CLIMATE ADVENTURE IS HERE and this issue of Wildfire magazine is something of a “Pick your Own Climate Adventure” game. And while “game” may be too…

Sunset on the Tetons — one of the many National Park Service locales worth supporting — which is one of my motivations for returning to Facebook.

Yesterday over breakfast at the coffee shop I logged in to Chommy (at https://personaldata.io/chommy-information/) and asked their service to help me gather all the intel about my online social-media bio (my psycho-data?) that has been collected and most likely sold by Cambridge Analytics. And then, on a roll, I completed the same request for Facebook.

I sort of expect Facebook to answer. Not so much for Cambridge Analytics.

Requesting ownership (or at least the knowledge of) the data collected from and about me was my first step back into Facebook, which I’ve been informally boycotting since it became clear that…

At the end of the dry season the Shire River is far below its banks, and this is the river that hydro-powers much of the electricity for the country. More than the loss of power, this drought has led to a failing or diminished maize crop, with prices doubling for the food source that provides 70% of a typical Malawian’s caloric intake. With two droughts in a row, Malawi is feeling climate change harder than most.

For more details, this reporting by IRIN — “The Inside Story on Emergencies” — offers insights into why managing fire and supporting forestry and…

It’s good to return to the warm heart of Africa with three colleagues, here to teach wildfire management to Malawians in the south (in Liwonde, for week one) and center-north (based out of Luwawa for weeks two and three).

Tonight, at Heuglin’s Lodge in Lilongwe, we continued our planning over a good meal (pork, squash, a wonderful pear desert) and talked with another guest about her work here in reducing HIV risk for teenagers.

After our dinner and a plan to plan our training week tomorrow, I go to bed beneath mosquito netting and far off there is bird-chittering and…

For much of my life I have made my home in the country, in park-lands as a ranger and firefighter where I track the flitting of birds, the flaming of forests. Yet in my travels — to reach the faraway and un-crowded places that are the gravitational pull of my planetary search — I am becoming a man of the cities. These are my gateways to wild places but I am also drawn to the motions of people and traffic so strange from my own.

Today, in Seoul in the Republic of Korea, I’ve sought to make my place in…

In the southern hemisphere it may be spring, in the north fall. And when I’m traveling south, the October sun pulls me into a run — to keep pace with the fresh sprouts, glowing with what might be a platitude of greens if the green were not so flush and true.

In the north I run to follow the sun as it fades the rice to limoncello, through khaki grass, to revel and rue the red-yellow-and-orange that lies beneath the retreating chlorophyll.

Whatever the hemisphere, this seems a time when those who are home are simply living — planting or…

Ron Steffens

Writing on people, places & priorities. Working as a park ranger & firefighter & adjunct faculty @PrescottCollege. From Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Africa & afar.

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