In this week’s podcast, freelance journalist and former wildland firefighter Amanda Eggert joins us from Bozeman to discuss her recent three-part series for Montana Free Press, Living With Fire.

While the 2019 fire season is off to a slow start due to unseasonably cool and wet weather, the city of Helena is watching as firefighters battle the North Hills fire, which has burned more than 4,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of more than 400 homes.

Eggert’s series explores the evolution of wildfire suppression, the role land-use planning can play in limiting property damage from wildfire, and the rise of the private firefighting industry. Says Eggert, “There’s an economic inequality aspect to [the private firefighting industry], where essentially wealthy people with disposable cash can better protect their homes and properties from fire than people who rely on public agencies.”

Readers can find Amanda’s Living With Fire series by visiting and clicking on the “News” tab at the top of the page.

John Adams began his professional career in 2001 in Idaho Falls, ID writing and editing for a variety of trade magazines. He covered topics ranging from potato and sugar beet farming to skate park and playground construction and maintenance. Adams started his newspaper career as the city government reporter for the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, WI where he covered the City Hall, police, fire and local courthouse beats. In 2005 he joined the staff of the Missoula Independent in Missoula, MT where he worked as a staff reporter covering a wide range of issues including the environment,...