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California Fires, Fire Engineering, Flu Near You. Nov 16, 2018, Part 1

SHARE California Fires, Fire Engineering, Flu Near You. Nov 16, 2018, Part 1

When wildfires strike, the conversation typically centers around natural factors: forest management, climate change, or hot dry winds that fan the flames. But there’s another important factor in wildfire risk: what humans build. Not just where we build, adjacent to flammable landscapes, but how we build it. Fire historian Stephen Pyne joins us to talk about what we might learn from the way we build in big city centers, where we’ve been largely successful at stamping out big blazes, and Sascha von Meier of UC Berkeley tells us a few ways power companies might fortify the grid to avoid sparking fires.

And could California use more planned burns to prevent forest fires? Molly Peterson of KQED tells us more.

Plus: Flu season has already begun, and Science Friday is teaming up with Flu Near You to recruit a national team of everyday citizens to build a real-time map of the rise and fall of influenza-like-illness in the United States. It’s as simple as reporting how you feel each week. Science Friday education director Ariel Zych and Flu Near You co-founder John Brownstein of Boston Children’s Hospital kick off the project with information and some of the trends they’ll be tracking throughout the season, and biologist Matt Smith tells about the dangers of flu season for people living with cystic fibrosis.

Plus, Annalee Newitz joins Ira to tell us the latest science news in the News Round-up.

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