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  • Psychologicalad6 September 2021
    I was hesitant to watch this. I thought I knew what I needed to know about the fires in the West. Global warming, overdevelopment. This piece blew my mind open. The heartbreaking first hand accounts. The investigation into the fires' origin. You must watch!

    PS: great music choices.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was ready to give this film a couple more stars for bringing home in no uncertain terms, the human impact of the large CA wild fires. It also sheds light on some important aspects that a lot of people don't know about.

    1. Fire is nothing new to California. It's something that has been happening for a very long time due to the cycles of intense rain that creates lots vegetation and drought which dries it into tinder.

    2. Global warming has had only a very small impact and is not the reason for the uptick in size and frequency.

    3. Human intervention in many forms has increased the size and deadliness of these fires. Logging, building in fire prone areas, clear cutting, poorly thought out reforestation, tree farms, general mismanagement, and misguided prevention.

    4. It is possible to build homes that won't burn or are significantly harder to set alight, and seemingly small measures like 5 feet between a house and any vegetation can drastically reduce the risk of it burning down.

    5. The lack of proscribed burning over the last few decades.

    But about halfway in, the film starts to go wrong.

    1. It gives PG&E almost a complete pass when in fact the company's perennial policy of deferred maintenance has been responsible for several large and particularly deadly fires. PG&E now has carte blanche, excuse me, a safety certificate, from the CA government to continue this practice.

    2. It seems bent on the idea that only native Americans understand the need for proscribed burns when it's been understood by everyone involved in forestry for the better part of a century. Indeed, I was in Yosemite the last time the federal government was performing one.

    3. It completely ignores the fact the resistance from clean air activists and the government of California has led to a severe diminishment of proscribed burns by the federal government, who are actually the largest landholders.

    4. It covers accidental, and natural ignitions, but completely ignores arson which is also a problem.

    5. It needlessly brings in unrelated topics. It actually manages to blend in a comment on vaccines, point out that the owner of a large timber company is Republican as if this is a crime, and then work in the term "white supremacy". It also portrays the citizens of Paradise in a subtlety unflattering light in and argument that people are too dumb to deserve individual rights.

    In short, the filmmaker laced her political views and somewhat skewed and naïve sense of history into the narrative instead of remaining an impartial reporter of facts. Subtle propaganda taints what could have been a very important film for everyone.

    Despite that, I recommend viewing it with the understanding that it is not an impartial judgement, wholly correct, or even complete. It makes some very good points when it's not being woke.
  • Its got a lot of heart and a lot of filosophy especially in the last third of it, the first half is just a thunderroar of action between the paradise fire and malibu fires of 2018 that devastated whole communities, and took the management and urban planners with their pantyhoses pretty far down, and made an abrubt wake up scream for the political foras and governmental hallways farther east. What they have done after that is pure impertinentic overswellin svada about heroism and making major forest industry even richer due to ''fell them all'' policy, instead of clear the brush and slash and heavy litter by low intensity methods, done by a workforce that must be a tenfold of todays numbers of employees. Ive observed that some of the lowpaid ones are due to get a larger paycheck this season, and even more if staying put till the end of the years last fire and that is a start, but will they do more than that ? Make forestry management a profitable alternative for green lovers and buy a couple millions of goats and wildsheep then a vast part of the brush problem wouldve been solved. Pay the heardsmen for the job, and youll have even more people employed and out of social security payrolls., and youll have milions of pounds and gallons of meat and milk on top of that too... well that was a large digression made by a grumpy old man.

    Its a lovely and beautiful production, well edited and narrated, the filming at times awesome, and its all done by an immigrant with a different view of the topic. So you will not loose 2 hours of yourlife if watching this documentary, but not so extremely much wiser you wont get.

    Its a should see movie by the douptful crowd, and a must see for all schoolchildren of the united states that may turn the direction on the compass towards a sound and healthy natural environment management in the future, so come on baby light my fire, cause fire is your friend if used in a friendly way.
  • Look, this is a fine doco film covering a timely topic, but it's a bit annoying listening to rich people whinge about their homes burning, when they insist upon flexing their money muscle by building in stupid places.- While these people continue to build in fire prone areas, because they can, they'll continue to lose their houses.

    Listening to the arrogance of some, combined with the bare faced truth of the situation told by a few, leaves the viewer very frustrated.

    Rich people want rich people houses in rich people areas. As long as America stays America, this will continue to happen.

    And the people will continue to rebuild over and over and wonder why their houses keep burning.

    The realists have the right idea and their input is the only thing that saves this.
  • Zombie stoner Grandma was truly terrifying and she haunts my dreams....

    ...................attending her 90th bday party? Ummm Nope. Burning alive would be a far better outcome in my view.

    Fire is not the enemy. Zombie stoner grandma is.