52 Weeks, 52 Books – Book 15

It has been a busy couple of weeks! We had our holiday weekend up here in Canada, followed by some sudden energy into another project I’m working on. As a result, it turns out to have been 10 days since I posted here! Later on, I’ll be posting about some resiliency-building work we’ve been doing around our house, but now I want to introduce you to Firestorm by Edward Struzik!

A huge part of both my full-time job and my consulting work is around the effects and after-effects of wildfires, so I was very interested to read this book! If you are in any area that experiences or is affected by wildfires, this is a book that you need to read. I was floored by the depth of experiences and knowledge that Struzik shared from many experts.

More than just a book about fires, Firestorm explores the science behind today’s mega fires in a thorough and thoroughly accessible way. Struzik walks us through everything, from the history that has resulted in a huge burden of fuel that is ripe for major fires – right through to the massive environmental and ecological effects of fires.

One of the pieces that I found most interesting (and that I freely admitted had never occurred to me before) was that fires will pick up environmental toxins and redistribute them through smoke and debris. I was also floored by the fact that recent fires have burned with such intensity that they have scoured the landscape clean of everything. Where they used to leave seeds and nutrients available in the soil to help speed regrowth, now they aren’t leaving anything behind.

This is a great book for anyone who has anything to do with policy around wildfires, or buildings in wildfire zones, or basically anyone who has anything to do with wildfires. This is one that will be on my shelf (and heavily referenced) for years to come!

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