Why wildfires? Outdoor-themed film, events in Sonoma County

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The Sonoma Ecology Center will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Wine Country wildfires with a series of events, including a screening of the documentary “Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future,” at Sonoma’s Sebastiani Theatre on Monday night.

Filmmaker Kevin White explores how fuel build-up and climate change have made Western wildlands vulnerable to large, high intensity wildfires. At the same time, greenhouse gases released from the fires accelerate climate change, a cycle that jeopardizes forests with more extreme weather and more wildfires, some now moving into more urban areas.

The film looks at the recent fires, from the Rim fire of 2013 that burned 257,000 acres in the central Sierra, to the wildfires of October 2017 that ravaged large parts of Napa and Sonoma counties, including the upper Sonoma Valley.

Bay Area TV personality Doug McConnell will moderate a panel discussion after the film with Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano, fire ecologist Jared Childress and Caitlin Cornwall, a research program manager for the Sonoma Ecology Center.

Admission to the 6 p.m. screening is $20 at

The center also will host several free three-hour interactive healing performances by international artists Anna Senno and Olga de la Iglesia. The two women will ask participants to don white clothing and paint themselves in colors representative of how they feel. 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 13 and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Oct. 14 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood. Registration is at For more information, call 707-996-0712, ext. 125 or email garland@sonomaecologycenter.

The Ecology Center is again offering free guided Fire Recovery Walks. Trained ecologists will lead the walks through Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, demonstrating how the local landscape is adapted to wildfire. Two-hour walks will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Friday and Oct. 14. For more information on all the fire anniversary activities, visit

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