Idaho and the West’s long, hot fire season, and its connection to global warming, is the subject of a segment of “60 Minutes,” scheduled to run at 6 p.m. MDT this Sunday.
Idaho Statesman readers will recognize many of the sources for the story who were interviewed by Scott Pelley, a former chief White House correspondent for the CBS Evening News. They are the many of the same experts I relied on for my series of fire stories this summer, including the Bureau of Land Management’s Chief of Fire Operations Tom Boatner, of the National Interagency Fire Center.
The “60 Minutes” team of producers, photographers and sound men repeatedly came to Idaho this summer to put together what will likely be the most in-depth television reporting this year on the changing fire behavior experts attribute to global warming..
I bumped into producer David Gelber in late July at NIFC as he was heading to Valley County to see the East Zone Complex fire north of McCall. Pelley returned with the team in late August, after a stint in Afghanistan, and went to Ketchum to cover the Castle Rock fire.
Pelley also interviewed Tom Swetnam, Director of Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, who was one of the authors of the scientific paper that documented the climatic changes, the longer fire seasons and the bigger fires the West has experienced since 1988.
This should be a report Idahoans don't want to miss.