Friday, December 27, 2013

The Weather Channel and Weather.com Honor Six-month Anniversary of Yarnell Hill Wildfire

Original Documentary and In-depth Report Investigate the
State of the Nation’s Wildfire Readiness


The Weather Channel and weather.com Honor Six-month Anniversary of Yarnell Hill Wildfire
ATLANTA (December 30, 2013) – Six months after 19 firefighters lost their lives battling a devastating Arizona wildfire, The Weather Channel® investigates the larger problem of U.S. wildfires in an original documentary and in-depth written report, “America Burning” (wt). Available Dec. 30 at weather.com, the multimedia project goes beyond what you’ve heard before. The report focuses on the contributing factors such as climate change, drought and issues gone wrong over 100 years that created this predicament.

“Climate change, poor forest management, cyclical dryness and drought, reckless real estate development and the over-commitment of firefighters to fight every fire have put us in a hole that may take decades to get out of,” said Neil Katz, vice president of content at The Weather Company and editor-in-chief of weather.com. “Tragic fires are happening more frequently, and we want to bring awareness to this serious national problem to help keep people safe and try to stop it from happening.”

Nearly 400 wild land firefighters have died in the last 20 years. On June 30, 2013, 19 firefighters known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots gave their lives battling a Yarnell, AZ, wildfire. The Weather Channel network will also offer coverage of the six-month anniversary on air. The weather.com site examines the tragedy and larger questions about U.S. wildfire policies that their sacrifice raises: Why are wildfires increasing in number and intensity? How has climate change altered our forests? Is there a national fire policy that should be changed, or are we too late?

The documentary and report include exclusive and in-depth interviews from surviving family members and the sole surviving firefighter, who has only given one other interview on the topic.

This project follows continued investment from The Weather Channel to provide compelling content for fans though increased long-form and investigative journalism, in-depth stories and beautiful video such as Weather Films.
Check out the story at weather.com“America Burning” was produced by the weather.com team of award-winning journalists, including Editor-in-chief Neil Katz, executive producer Greg Gilderman and producer Shawn Efran of Efran Films.


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