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“The Big Burn” airs February 3 on PBS

Information provided by South Metro Fire Rescue Authority

Inspired by Timothy Egan’s best-selling book, “The Big Burn” is a dramatic story of the massive wildfire that swept across the Northern Rockies in the summer of 1910.  By the time it was all over, the fire had devoured more than three million acres and at least 78 firefighters were dead.  It was the largest fire in American history.  The catastrophe tested the then-five-year-old U.S. Forestry Service and defined the nation’s fire policy for much of the 20th century.

As America tries to manage its fire-prone landscapes in the 21st century, “The Big Burn” provides a cautionary tale of heroism and sacrifice, arrogance and greed, hubris, and ultimately humility in the face of nature’s frightening power.

“The big burn was an exceptional wildfire,” stated South Metro Fire Rescue Life Safety Educator Eineer Jensen.  “Preparing for that sort of fire is impossible, but that fire does remind us that fire can destroy property, injure us and kill us.   While we can’t prevent the Big Burns, we can prepare our families and our properties for low to moderate intensity wildfires.”

For information, call 720-989-2271 or visit



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