The Discovery Channel, in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), is taking viewers to the front lines of the state’s horrific wildfires in a new multi-platform series.
“Cal Fire” won’t premiere until later this year, but Discovery will air a “first look” episode at 10 p.m. tonight (Sept. 22) that delivers what the network calls “an in-depth view” of the current wildfires ravaging parts of California. Viewers can also follow the heroic firefighters during wildfire season now on the Discovery GO app or at Discovery.com/CalFire.
Discovery says multiple camera crews have been embedded with Cal Fire’s firefighters across the state — from Shasta in the North to San Diego in the South — for the past three months. They’re using “cutting edge technology” including fire-resistant helmet cameras to bring viewers “an ultra-immersive perspective” on the blazes.
Crews were required to undergo “Red Flag” training and were equipped with special protective gear in order to accompany the firefighters on the fire lines. During California’s most destructive fire season ever, Cal Fire has deployed all of its 7,000 firefighters, and the worst is likely yet to come as they prepare for the fast-approaching Santa Ana wind season in Southern California.
Already, more than 3.5 million acres have burned, 6000 homes have been destroyed, and more than two dozen lives lost.
The series is also expected to delve into the stories behind the men and women of Cal Fire who have sacrificed their own lives to protect others. Many firefighters haven’t been home to see their families in weeks as they constantly put the public’s needs above their own.
“California is experiencing one of the most catastrophic fire seasons in the state’s history and we felt a responsibility to bring the heroic stories of those fighting on the frontlines to our viewers,” Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual, said in a statement. “These courageous men and women put their lives on the line everyday battling wildfires and dealing with effects of climate change first-hand.”
“The men and women of Cal Fire are working round the clock to keep the people of California safe. We are gratified that Discovery has recognized our sacrifice and contribution by making this series,” said Tim Edwards, President, Cal Fire Local 288.