A Hotshot's View Of The Wildfires Of The West

Aug 15, 2013

Rick Cowell and a crew of hotshot firefighters
Credit Kyle Dickman

Rick Cowell has spent the last 36 years fighting wildfires in the West.  This past December, he retired and is now watching his crew take on what is turning out to be a busy wildfire season.  Cowell says that over the years much of the new technology has made locating fires easier. But the work of hotshots, an elite group of wilderness first responders, has remained the same: lots of cutting, digging and intentional burning.

Also in this show: Producer Kenny Malone looks into the story behind a collection of salt shakers and a picture left behind in a Florida deposit box; how the rise of Hitler forced great physicists such as Max Born to flee Germany in the 1930s; and producer David Schulman goes on a search for digital sound that can compare to the acoustics of a Stradivarius violin.