The Okanagan Valley of the southern interior of British Columbia has been shaped by fire for millennia: by cultural burning by First Nations communities, by lightning fires, and by patterns of settler-colonial burning and fire suppression. In the wake of large and severe wildfire seasons and predictions of worsening wildfires fueled by climate change, there are calls for both interdisciplinary problem-solving among fire experts and for more public engagement to transform how we live with fire in British Columbia. Understanding the history of fire in this place can contribute to better fire use, management, and response that accounts for human and more-than-human ecological health and recognizes multiple forms of important fire expertise. This podcast series explores the ways that fire history informs present and future ways of living with and understanding fire in and around this Valley.
This podcast was produced as Judith Burr's master's thesis project, as part of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program's Digital Arts & Humanities theme at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. It is a contribution to interdisciplinary and public conversations about life with fire. It centers on 14 oral history and expert interviews and two field recordings. Each interviewee holds specific and often plural forms of expertise and understandings of life with fire in and around the Okanagan. As the researcher, Burr's recorded conversations situate her in this project and allow her to share fire research in a dialogic, relational, listenable format contextualized by archival and secondary source fire history research. This work was supported by UBC-Okanagan’s feminist digital humanities lab, the AMP Lab. This project was also supported in part by the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) through UBC Okanagan’s “Living with Wildfire” Project. This podcast was created on the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.