One of the World’s Foremost Experts on the Natural History of Fire Speaks at Colorado State Sept. 21

As Colorado and the nation’s wildfire season continues, Steve Pyne, a nationally renowned historian, author and former firefighter, discusses the lasting physical and social effects of forest fires in his presentation, "Flame and Fortune: Understanding America’s History of Wildland Fire," 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center Theatre. The presentation is free and open to the public.

As wildfires continue to burn across the country, Pyne looks at the history of wildfires in the United States and evaluates the effects on the environments and surrounding populations. To date, nearly 82,000 wildfires and over 8 million acres have burned since January 2006, with 25 percent more fires this year than the 10-year average.

Pyne is a professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, specializing in the history of ecology, the history of exploration and the history of fire. In 2002, he was featured in the PBS special, "Fire Wars."

Pyne received his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1988. He has also received a Fulbright Fellowship and two National Endowments for the Humanities Fellowships.

He spent 15 seasons as a wildland firefighter at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park from 1967-1981. Since the publication of his second book in 1982, "Fire in America," he has been known as one of the world’s foremost experts on the natural history of fire. His co-authored book, "Introduction to Wildland Fire," is in its second edition and is considered the textbook for wildland firefighters.

Colorado State University’s Student Firefighter Association, or SFA, is an association comprised of active, past and aspiring wildland firefighters, students, professors and researchers. SFA is hosting the presentation.

Pyne’s presentation is also sponsored by Associated Students of Colorado State University, Smith Sport Optics and The Supply Cache Inc.