E.P. Foster Library in downtown Ventura, in coordination with Berkeley’s StoryCenter, is serving as host for the one-hour documentary Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forest and the Future. The film is part of the California Wildfire Story Project traveling down the coast of California from Ukiah to Ventura this May and June. The film will be shown at Foster’s Topping Room on Friday, June 22, at 6 p.m.
Wilder Than Wild , which focuses on recent fires, climate change and fire-control management policy in the West, was produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmakers Kevin White and Stephen Most. White and Most reveal how fuel buildup and climate change have resulted in large “megafires” that, in recent decades, have decimated the western half of the United States, especially California, and explore in depth such fires as Rim of the World in 2013 and the Sonoma and Napa fires in 2017. It should be of particular interest to locals, in light of the recent Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties — the largest so far in the state of California.
According to the filmmakers, all of these fires are drastically affecting the viability of forest resources and the wildlife that it shelters. In addition, the greenhouse gases they release are becoming a major factor in climate change.
As a follow-up, StoryCenter is scheduling a series of recorded interview sessions regarding the recent Thomas Fire. The interviews will take place on Saturday, June 23, 1-6 p.m., in the library’s meeting room.
Irma Morales, E.P. Foster librarian, described StoryCenter as “a group who documents oral histories of people’s lives, and they do it through libraries.” She noted how this partnership was formed last year when the library scheduled another StoryCenter project.
“We’ve worked with the StoryCenter group before on a project last year called Memories of Main Street,” Morales recalled, “As a result, Joe Lambert, who ran that project, was able to get the folks who’d done this Wilder than Wild documentary.”
The scope of StoryCenter’s work includes nearly a thousand organizations around the world. They have trained more than 15,000 people in hundreds of workshops to share stories from their lives.
For Morales, the invitation to show the film seemed timely. “We had already been working with the Museum of Ventura County on some of these stories, so we thought this was another opportunity,” she stated.
Wilder Than Wild will be screened on Friday, June 22, at 6 p.m. StoryCenter interviews are being scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 1-6 p.m. Both events are free and take place at E.P. Foster Library, 651 E. Main St., Ventura. To schedule an interview session, visit www.storycenter.org/ventura-fire-stories-june2018 . For more information, contact Library Director Nancy Schram at 805-256-8535.