UM Professor’s Podcast Illuminates Burning Questions

UM Marketing Associate Professor Justin Angle hosts a new podcast, “Fireline,” which looks at our complicated relationship with wildfires, both good and bad.

MISSOULA – Justin Angle, a marketing associate professor in the University of Montana’s College of Business, vividly remembers his first introduction to wildfires. He had just moved to Missoula and nearby fires were choking the city, forcing evacuations and threatening homes.

“I quickly realized wildfire was a part of living here,” Angle said of the 2012 fires. “As I’ve spent time in wild spaces, I saw landscapes changed by fire. I met firefighters, fire scientists, foresters and land managers. I realized that Missoula is an epicenter for wildfire science, policy, history and firefighting apparatus. What’s happening here informs wildfire policy and practice across the country. I wanted to learn more about all this.”

Angle, who hosts his own podcast “A New Angle,” turned his innate curiosity into a new podcast on wildfires called “Fireline,” a six-part audio series from Montana Public Radio and the UM College of Business. The podcast is produced by Nick Mott of the Peabody Award-winning show “Threshold” and “Richest Hill,” named one of “The New Yorker's” “must-listen” podcasts of 2019. Episode 1 of the podcast releases on March 9

“By just about every measure, wildfires are getting bigger, hotter and more devastating than we’ve ever seen before,” Angle said. “But what all that fire means – and what to do about it – depends on who you ask. “

Angle’s guests on the podcast, all experts in the field of fire, will address such questions as: How have our views of fire shaped our expectations of safety, forest management and firefighting? Are people in the West prepared for the responsibility of living in the wildland urban interface? And what’s our role in figuring out how to live with the system-wide challenges wildfires pose?

“Fireline” editor and co-producer Victor Yvellez, a recent UM journalism graduate, said listeners will come away with a better understanding of wildfires and an appreciation that – while often catastrophic – wildfires are essential to the landscapes we live on.

“Fire helped our species evolve,” Yvellez said. “It's been a part of our world for millions of years, and it’s a part of the human soul. As the effects of climate change become more evident, fire will shape the future of life in the West.”

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Contact: Justin Angle, associate professor, UM College of Business, 206-650-5522,