Dakota Midday: 'The Big Burn'
In the summer of 1910, a massive wildfire devoured more than three million acres in the Northern Rockies in 36 hours. Some 78 firefighters perished in the flames. The catastrophe occurred at time when the U.S. Forest Service was only a few years old, firefighting was a primitive science and conservation of America’s public lands was controversial. Over a century later, the legacy of what's become known as the Big Burn can be measured in the growth of the U.S. Forest Service and fire suppression policies.
The Big Burn, a new documentary presented by American Experience, tells the dramatic story of the fire and its aftermath. The film is based on a best-selling book by Timothy Egan and was written and directed by independent documentary filmmaker Stephen Ives. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed the documentary.
SDPB1-TV airs The Big Burn Tuesday at 8 pm, CT; 7 pm, MT.