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Credit: Courtesy of Pacific Science Center

Is catastrophic wild fire and smoke exposure our new normal?

In 2017, the Jolly Mountain fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest caused extensive damage. It threatened to destroy the town of Roslyn, Washington. The smoke cast a dangerous shadow on the Puget Sound Region.

The Pacific Science Center held this panel discussion to review the reality of forest health and forest fires in Washington State. The event coincided with a new Seattle Center installation by local artist Ted Youngs, “The Smoke Season.”

Working with burnt trees from the fire, Youngs is bringing awareness to wildfire season. As part of the installation, the Lone Fir – one blackened Douglas fir, is on display in the Pacific Science Center’s courtyard until September 15.

“Smoke: The New Normal?” took place at The PACCAR IMAX Theater on June 14. Participants included Ted Youngs, the founder of Big Power Project; Washington State Representative Tom Dent; Erik Saganic, with The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Cora Sack, a physician at the University of Washington. KUOW’s Paige Browning moderated the discussion. Sonya Harris recorded the event.

This episode of Speakers Forum is part of KUOW’s ongoing partnership with the Pacific Science Center in their Science in the City series. Come back next month for another Science in the City episode: Star Trek and the Science of Human(oid) Evolution.