Ep. 64Southwest Series Ep. 1: Southwest Fire Regimes and Post-Fire Community Support with Mary Stuever

Welcome to the first part of our six-episode series all about the Southwest, sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium!

In this episode, which is serving as an introduction to the series, we spoke with Mary Stuever, who is the Cimarron District Forester for New Mexico State Forestry. Mary has a breadth of experience across disciplines in the fire world, which is well-reflected in our conversation. She’s worked in suppression, prevention, fire ecology, community education, post-fire support and public information, among other roles in her long career in fire. As such, we touched on everything from her background in suppression (and subsequent health problems from smoke exposure) to her time providing post-fire community support for the folks in Mora, NM, which was devastated by the 2022 Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire. Mora was not only impacted by the fire itself, but also by subsequent flooding and debris flows that destroyed wells, choked out acequias (critical agricultural waterways) and destroyed untold homes, properties and livelihoods. 

Mary reflected on the situation she found herself in in such a devastating post-fire environment, including what was needed and opportunities she saw for helping other communities prepare for similar situations. She also gave us a quick Southwest Fire Ecology 101 lesson, and was all around a great guest to chat about the huge diversity of wildfire issues facing the Southwest right now. Most of the topics we spoke to will be elaborated on in greater detail in upcoming episodes, so we hope you’ll stick around and listen in as we release more episodes of this series over the next six weeks. 

For more information on post-fire impacts in Mora, check out some of the fantastic reporting  Patrick Lohmann of Source NM did both during and after the fire.

For more information about our sponsor for this series, the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, check out their website, which is chock-full of resources related to Southwest fire ecology, research, management and communications. 


08:55 – Role Of Fire In The Landscape

10:10 – Health Issues in Wildland Firefighting

12:13 – Basing Operational Decisions On Smoke Exposure

14:18 – Fire Ecology of the Southwest 101

23:22 – Intersecting Cultures And Fire Management in the Southwest

25:34 – Ecosystem-Specific Challenges and Different Tactics For Different Landscapes

27:51 – Mary’s Experience Providing Post-Fire Support In Mora, NM (Following Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak)

36:29 – Post-Fire Recommendations For The Southwest

40:49 – Utilizing Art And Theater For Fire Education

44:03 – Bringing Community Members In As Partners

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