America burning: the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy and the nation's wildfire crisis


Sandra Leander

Six months after 19 firefighters lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire near Prescott, Ariz., The Weather Channel investigated the larger problem of U.S. wildfires. In an article and original documentary titled "America Burning: The Yarnell Hill Tradegy and the Nation's Wildfire Crisis," journalist Neil Katz, along with executive producer Greg Gilderman and producer Shawn Efran of Efran Films, interview surviving family members and the sole surviving firefighter.

They also interview Steve Pyne, ASU School of Life Sciences professor and world renowned fire expert. Pyne discusses how changes in both climate and land use have dramatically affected the health of U.S. forests. 

In a press release, The Weather Channel states that nearly 400 wildland firefighters have died in the past 20 years. Neil Katz, vice-president of content at The Weather Company, says the organization wants to help bring awareness to the serious national problem of wildfires, and to help keep people safe.