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Built to Burn cover image

Built to Burn 2021

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Collective Eye Films, 1315 SE 20th Ave. #3, Portland OR 97214; 971-236-2056
Produced by Courtney D. Campbell
Directed by Courtney D. Campbell
Streaming, 52 mins



High School - General Adult
Documentaries; Ecology; Global Warming

Date Entered: 09/15/2022

Reviewed by Irina Stanishevskaya, University of Alabama at Birmingham Libraries

The filmmaker, Courtney Campbell, and his crew present a documentary about catastrophic wildfire seasons in Oregon in recent decades. In spite of the fact that wildfires are vital for shaping ecosystems in forested regions, they also may be extremely harmful. Global climate change, hotter temperatures, high wind, and forest fuel accumulations have contributed to the increased frequency, severity, and duration of wildfires. As the result, in Oregon, more than million acres of land, numerous residential homes, community buildings, and business structures were burned, and many people were killed, injured, and/or relocated.

The documentary is divided into several sections: highlights of the region’s disastrous wildfires in 2017 and 2020, fire ecology and history, a problem that began as a solution, science-driven forest policy, the wildland urban interface (WUI), powerlines and wildfire, and the new normal.

The authors examine wildfires impact on the environment, ecology, and socio-economic conditions of the human communities throughout the interviews with many scientists, experts, and state and national authorities such as Matt Donegan, Chair of the Oregon Wildfire Response Council, John D. Bailey, Professor at Oregon State University, Stephen Pyne, Professor Emeritus at the Arizona State University, Jon E. Keeley, Research Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Chris Luz, Mayor of Phoenix, Oregon, Dana Skelly, Regional Fuels Program Manager at the U.S. Forest Service, Millie Carlton, Editor of Scorched, Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator, D-OR, Ryan Haugo, Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, Sally Russel, Mayor of Bend, Oregon, Ryan Richards, Senior Policy Analyst for Public Lands, Center for American Progress, Austin Troy, Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, Tim Kirsch, Mayor of Mill City, Oregon, Alexandra D. Syphard, Chief Scientist at Vertus Wildfire, Frank Frievalt, Fire Chief, Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District, Jeff Johnson, Chief Executive, Western Fire Chiefs Association, David Hawks, Fire Chief at California Paradise Fire Department, Brentwood Reid, Wildland Firefighter, Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection, and Lyndsey Lascheck, Project Manager for the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District.

Throughout the documentary, the audience is presented with heart breaking stories of wildfire survivors as well short clips of speeches given by Oregon Governor Kate Brown at the PBS news conference in 2020 and President Trump at the National Association of Realtors Expo in 2019.

The documentary can be used for courses and educational programs that study wildfire prevention and control, natural disasters, ecology, and climatic changes risk management. It is well-suited for school, public, and academic library collections.

Published and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license.