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The Sunday Special: Where There's Smoke - A History of Fire

Mark Roper, U.S. Forest Service

Listen this Sunday afternoon at 5 for stories of fire: from the tools of firefighters, to the science of arson, to the genesis of modern fire suppression.

Colorado has largely avoided serious wildfires this year. So far. But elsewhere in the West, hundreds of thousands of acres are burning,

It’s yet another reminder that this force of nature, mastered but not tamed, doesn’t always bend to our will. Until the early 20th century, fire was essential for heat, cooking and light. But as electrification spread, few Americans still relied on fire at work or in their homes.

On this week's Sunday Special, we'll hear stories of fire. How it has sustained us, even as technology pushes it away from our lives.

The show Where There's Smoke: A History of Fire is produced by BackStory with the American History Guys.

Where There's Smoke introduces us to Henry Bergson, a former firefighter who collects artifacts related to the job, to see an early firefighter’s most important tool: the bed wrench.

We'll also show take a closer look at the science of arson investigations; see how San Francisco's Chinatown rose from the ashes of fires that followed the 1906 Earthquake; and we'll remember the Big Blowup, a massive wildfire that raged across the West in 1910 and started the practice of fire suppression.

Hear Where There's Smoke: A History of Fire, produced by BackStory with the American History Guys, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on the KSUT Sunday Special.

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