Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: Fighting with fire | Jun 24, 2017

(music plays)

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses, a gray parka and a mottled black and white sweater.

Nam says WELCOME TO
CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE LOCAL
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS CREATING
THE IDEAL CONDITIONS
FOR FOREST FIRES.
AS THEY BECOME
MORE INTENSE AND
HARDER TO MANAGE
FIRE RESEARCHERS ARE
DEVELOPING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
TO FIGHT THEM.
WE VISIT NORTHERN
ONTARIO TO FIND OUT MORE.

(music plays)

A clip shows images of a forest fire.

Joshua says THERE
ARE ALWAYS LEGENDARY FIRES
THAT ALL OF THE CREW
GUYS TALK ABOUT.
WE ARE MOVING INTO
A VERY DIFFERENT TIME.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS WHAT'S
MAKING IT SO EASY
FOR A FIRE TO BURN.
THOSE ARE NOT GOING TO BE
ANCIENT STORIES ANYMORE,
THEY'RE GOING TO BE
LAST YEAR'S STORIES.
AND THEN PRETTY SOON
WE WON'T NEED STORIES
BECAUSE IT'LL BE
HAPPENING ALL THE TIME.
I WANT TO FIND A WAY
TO MAKE IT EASIER
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
GOING TO BE HAVING TO DEAL
WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
ON THE FRONT LINES.

(music plays)

A caption reads "Fighting with fire. Harnessing technology to control wildfires."

(music plays)

The caption changes to "Joshua Johnston. Forest fire research scientist, Canadian Forest Service."

Joshua is in his early forties, with short straight brown hair and a graying stubble. He wears glasses and a black and white gingham shirt.

He says MY FATHER WAS A FIRE
MANAGER FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
HE ALWAYS INSISTED
THAT YOU CAN'T FIGHT
A FIRE UNTIL YOU KNOW
HOW TO BUILD ONE.
EVERY CULTURE HAS ATTACHED
SOME SORT OF SIGNIFICANCE
TO FIRE.
IT WAS ABSOLUTELY ONE OF
OUR FIRST TECHNOLOGIES.
IT REALLY TRANSFORMED
OUR SPECIES.
IT ALLOWED US TO
START COOKING FOOD.

A clip shows Joshua in his back yard, roasting marshmallows with his son.

(music plays)

Joshua says I MET MY WIFE WHEN
SHE INTERVIEWED ME
FOR THIS JOB.
SHE RECOMMENDED
THEY DON'T HIRE ME.
PROVED HER WRONG.

Joshua’s wife says DO YOU KNOW WHAT
PYROLYSIS IS?

She’s in her thirties, with shoulder length straight light brown hair and she wears glasses, denim Bermuda shorts and a purple top.

Joshua’s son says NO.

Joshua’s wife says NO?

Joshua says ME AND MY BROTHER AND
SISTER AND MY BROTHER-IN-LAW,
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF
US HAS BEEN THROUGH
THE FIRE PROGRAM,
AND MY WIFE IS
A FIRE SCIENTIST.
SO IF YOU DON'T KNOW
ANYTHING ABOUT FIRE
WE HAVE A VERY BORING
DINNER CONVERSATION FOR YOU.

Joshua’s wife says BUT THEN CLIMATE
CHANGE WE'RE GOING TO
SEE LONGER FIRE SEASON,
SO THE COMMUNITIES
THAT ARE ALREADY THERE ARE
GOING TO BE MORE AT RISK.

Joshua says MY SON
WILL BE THREE TOMORROW,
AND ON HIS SECOND
BIRTHDAY LAST YEAR
I WAS IN A DASH
8 FLYING THROUGH
THE SMOKE COLUMN
OVER FORT McMURRAY.
IT'S NOT ADVENTUROUS
OR EXCITING TO GET
THOSE KIND OF
EXPERIENCES ANYMORE.
IT'S THE BURNING
OF THE FOSSIL FUELS.
THAT COMBUSTION HAS
SET US DOWN A PATH
THAT'S REALLY INVITED
FIRE TO TAKE THINGS
TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

An old clip rolls with the caption "From Flames in the Forest."

An announcer says THE
FIRE BEGINS TO DIE.

Joshua says SO, YES,
WE HARNESSED IT, BUT I THINK
WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT
WE WEREN'T ITS MASTERS.

The announcer says THE
BATTLE HAS BEEN WON.

Joshua says SUPPRESSING
EVERY FIRE IS NOT GOING TO
BE SUSTAINABLE
IN THE FUTURE.
BUT PART OF THAT
ADAPTATION IS GOING TO BE
ALLOWING IT TO BURN.
AND THAT MEANS YOU NEED
TO KEEP TRACK OF
EVERYTHING THEY'RE DOING.
YOU NEED TO MONITOR THEM.
THE GOAL OF THIS
RESEARCH IS TO MAKE IT
POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO
HAVE THE BEST POSSIBLE
INTELLIGENCE ON THAT
FIRE IN REAL-TIME.
WE'RE TRYING TO COLLECT
INFRARED IMAGERY THAT
WILL SIMULATE
A WILDFIRE.
TO MAKE IT A LOT EASIER
TO MAP OUT WILDFIRES
IN THE FUTURE.

(music plays)

Joshua says WHEN YOU SEE A FIRE,
IT IS JUST THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL EXPRESSION
OF WEATHER THAT
YOU'LL EVER SEE.
WE'RE TRYING TO OBSERVE
THE ENERGY FROM FIRES.
TYPICALLY FROM A
SATELLITE THESE DAYS.
SEE WHAT'S GOING ON
WITHOUT PUTTING PEOPLE
IN HARM'S WAY.
I GUESS WHERE I'M FROM,
OUR FAMILY UPBRINGING
PROBABLY WASN'T
THAT ABNORMAL.
BUT WE ALSO LIVED
ON JUST ABOUT EVERY
FIRE BASE IN
NORTHERN ONTARIO.
MY SON, THAT'S ALL HE
TALKS ABOUT HALF THE TIME
THESE DAYS IS "WATER
BOMBER, WATER BOMBER."
OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Joshua’s father says GRANDPA USED TO
FLY IN HERE
WITH HIS FIRE CREW.

He’s in his sixties, with wavy white hair and wears glasses, jeans and a purple and gray polo shirt.

Joshua says I DON'T KNOW
HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT REALLY
BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW
WHAT IT'S GOING TO BE
LIKE TO BE A FIREFIGHTER
15 YEARS FROM NOW, RIGHT?
IT'S GOING TO BE
DIFFERENT THAN WHEN I WAS.
DEFINITELY THE CHALLENGES
ARE GOING TO BE A LOT BIGGER.

Joshua’s father says DO YOU SEE
THE FIRE LIT?

Joshua’s son says LET'S PUT IT OUT.

Joshua’s father says PUT IT OUT, EH?

(music plays)

A caption reads "Archival footage courtesy of Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre."

A caption reads "tvo.org/climatewatch."

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: Fighting with fire