Filmed during two recent wildfire seasons, “Wildland” is a sweeping yet deeply personal account of a single wildland firefighting crew as they struggle with fear, loyalty, dreams, and demons.
What emerges is a rich story of working-class men — their exterior world, their interior lives, and the fire that lies between.
Directed and produced by Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson, “Wildland” kicks off the new season of Independent Lens on Monday, October 29, on PBS.
Every summer, the American West burns. As climate change has increased, average temperatures have risen, resulting in a sudden increase in both the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
Inside each of these fires are small crews who work to contain them by hand, using shovels, pickaxes, and methods that haven’t changed in 60 years.
With a lifelong admiration for those who do this dangerous work, filmmakers and native Westerners Jablonski and Hudson went through firefighting training with the men in the film in Grants Pass, Oregon, a sleepy mountain town.
Each firefighter has come to this work for personal reasons — for some, it’s a need to test themselves or a desire for adventure and purpose; for others, it may be the job of last resort after time in prison or a lifetime of addiction.
Read the story at PBS.
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