For over 30 years, Dr. Paul Hessburg and his team have worked with passion and expertise to understand why highly destructive megafires throughout the Western United States have been on an alarming rise. As they began to discover the ecology behind what's happening and its relationship to forest management, an epiphany came: the rise of megafires might have an ecological explanation, but in reality, they are a social problem, with social solutions. In other words, if we are going to keep our most celebrated lands from catastrophic destruction, it will take all of us as homeowners, community leaders and voters. So Paul approached North 40 Productions with this simple question: How do we teach the masses about forest ecology and this fairly complex problem? It was in this intersection between science, storytelling and a passion to reach the masses, that the Era of Megafires Presentation was born. 



Paul Hessburg, Phd., is a Research Ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service. He has been studying historical & modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years, publishing extensively in leading national & international journals. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large & severe wildfires. This presentation is an outgrowth of his research and his concerns for the future. Paul was the recipient of the USFS 2017 R&D Deputy Chief's Distinguished Science Award for his significant contribution to fire and landscape ecology. Paul's recent book, Making Transparent Environmental Management Decisions, offers compelling new insights into using modern-day decision support systems to plan for forest restoration. 

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North 40 Productions has been creating high quality and award winning documentary films, educational videos and television commercials since 2006 (in 2012, the company name was changed from Howell at the Moon). From national broadcast to local non-profits, our team has tackled a wide array of subjects and project goals. In addition to The Era of Megafires, recent documentary projects include: Not for Any PriceLifted: a ski film for the rest of usPedal-Drivena bikeumentary, The Last Director, and The Growing Season. To see examples of North 40's work, visit north40productions.com.



Project Coordinator Sara Rolfs has been making a significant impact on regional and local issues throughout Central Washington for over a decade. Fueled by her passions for education and forest health, Sara connects the Era of Megafires with interested communities, and makes sure they have everything they need to put on their own successful event.