science on tap wildfire

Living with Wildfire: Perspectives From a Former Firefighter

What’s it like to work on the front lines of a wildfire? 
How and why are wildfires changing in the Northwest?

This talk will jump into both of these topics, while also expanding on how you can prepare for a future of fire in the Northwest. 

Amanda Monthei spent four years working as a wildland firefighter—including two years as a US Forest Service hotshot (a highly-trained team) based in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Her work gave her a first-hand glimpse at the way PNW ecosystems are shifting and how both wildfire and climate change play a critical role. This talk will give you an inside glimpse at what this unique job entails, as well as the challenges facing wildland firefighters right now. 

She’ll also address why our temperate rainforests no longer feel like the wildfire-safe haven they once were. Believe it or not, fire belongs in these “wet side” ecosystems! But while infrequent, these fires tend to be catastrophically large and fast-moving – take the Labor Day fires of 2020 as an example of how these ecosystems can burn. Explore why this relationship is expected to grow more tenuous as climate change brings more extended drought and other climactic changes to the Northwest. 

Amanda Monthei left firefighting in 2019 and found a niche career in writing about wildfire, including for outlets like The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Deseret News, Patagonia and NBC News. She also produces and hosts a podcast, Life with Fire, which examines our relationship with wildfires and how we can better coexist with them. She lives in Bellingham, WA. 

  • Event Date

    Wednesday, June 26, 2024

  • Start Time

    7:00 pm Pacific

  • End Time

    8:30 pm Pacific

  • Tickets


    General Admission: $25

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    Ticket fine print

    We at Science on Tap are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn. If the ticket price is a hardship for you, please write to us and we're happy to provide reduced-price tickets to those who request them.

  • Venue

    Alberta Rose Theatre