What we learned: fire, forests and the future

Posted on October 5, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

California Wildfires

Exactly one year after devastating wildfires broke out in Sonoma Valley and around the North Bay, locals will get a chance to reflect on that experience – and learn how to adapt to the fire-prone environment – at an exclusive film screening and panel discussion Monday, October 8, at Sebastiani Theater.

“Wilder Than Wild” is a one-hour documentary by filmmaker Kevin White. It will be followed by a panel of experts, along with White and the film’s producer, moderated by NBC’s Doug McConnell.

1152549-250The event is presented by the Sonoma Ecology Center in acknowledgement of the fires of October 2017.

“Uncontrollable wildfire is already coming a regular part of our lives in California,” said Richard Dale, the Center’s executive director. “Change only comes through understanding, and this movie helps get us there.”

Joining in the post-film discussion of fire, forests and the future will be: fire ecologist Jared Childress; soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause; Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano, who helped guide emergency response during the several-day ordeal; Sonoma Ecology Center wildlife biologist Caitlin Cornwall; director White and the film’s producer, Steven Most.

The panel will be moderated by Bay Area outdoorsman Doug McConnell, former host of “Bay Area Backroads” and currently the host of NBC’s “OpenRoad.”

The film examines how prescribed fire can reduce the need for fire suppression. It looks at a California tribe renewing its tradition of cultural fire, and shows how scientists, resource managers and others are coping with the emerging challenges of land management.

“‘Wilder Than Wild’ explores these facets, which is why we’re so glad to present it to the public,” Dale said,

The film starts at 7 p.m., with light refreshments and wine served at 6 p.m. $20 suggested donation at the door or

For more on how Sonoma Ecology Center is honoring the one-year anniversary of the North Bay fires, go to


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