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Filmed across the West and narrated by Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actor David Oyelowo, Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire (84 min) takes viewers on a journey with the top experts in the nation to better understand fire. The film follows the harrowing escape from Paradise, California as the town ignited from wind-driven embers and burned within a few hours of the fire’s start. It then continues to the even more recent fires of the last two years, when Oregon, California and Colorado suffered their worst wildfires in recorded history.
Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people and fire survivors, and asks us to reimagine our relationship with wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future. Former United States Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck says of the documentary:
”Elemental is an outstanding film that deserves the widest possible viewing. In a visually stunning manner, it distills what we’ve learned about wildland fire over the decades and provides a road-map for badly needed changes that will benefit thousands of people, particularly in fire prone communities.”
In the wake destructive fires across the nation, ELEMENTAL is an important look at discovering how we can all reimagine our relationship with wildfire, and keep our homes and communities safe. The solutions are now more timely and urgent than ever.
Trip Jennings founded Balance Media and has worked with National Geographic for over a decade. His films have won dozens of awards around the world and have aired on major networks on every continent. For nearly two decades, Ralph Bloemers has worked on wildfire and community safety, restored burned trails, and assisted the scientific community with bringing their knowledge and research to the public.
by Trip Jennings
“I am deeply committed to changing the national conversation around wildfire.”
My first exposure to wildland fire was when I was a sophomore in college working on a student film nearly 20 years ago. The Biscuit fire burned across half a million acres in Southern Oregon, and we covered the controversy, science and politics at play during and after the fire. The Bush administration proposed the largest timber sale in modern history, and a big fight ensued. A groups of scientist led by Daniel Donato published a paper in Science magazine and they were attacked by other professors at their school. Our team grappled with the complex debate around fire and worked with scientists, advocates and local citizens to capture the story.
More than a decade later, the Eagle Creek fire ignited the Columbia River Gorge, a scenic area just a half hour from my home. As the fire burned, legislation was proposed that would allow clearcut logging in the forests after the fire. The community was shocked and angry. People were searching for answers, and I noticed that people were sharing my nearly two-decade-old student film – I was taken aback. Was it possible that little to nothing else was available to communicate this message?
As the rains came and put the fire out, I took to the air with an expert scientist to assess the burn. I created a short film about the fire that has been views by hundreds of thousands of people and has influenced the reporting and response.
For the last four years I have dedicated myself to visiting burned landscapes and communities destroyed by fire. I am deeply committed to changing the national conversation around wildfire. I have visited with scientists, investigators and firefighters and they have told me again and again that we can have healthy forests and safe communities, and that we can prepare for and adapt to fire.